Virginia family grows 1,000-pound pumpkin on their first try

A Virginia family grows an 1,000 pound pumpkin on their first try.
Published: Aug. 27, 2023 at 10:20 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 27, 2023 at 10:21 PM EDT
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BANDY, Va. (WVVA/Gray News) - Fall is right around the corner, bringing with it the tradition of picking out a pumpkin for jack o’ lanterns and pies. But one Virginia family grew some pumpkins a little bigger than ones you’re likely to see in a supermarket.

If you drive by the Hidden Springs Farm in Tazewell County, you may be surprised by some of the produce being grown there.

Eight giant pumpkins were grown by the Edwards family. Despite their success with these eight great gourds, the family says they’re not giant pumpkin experts. This is actually their first time growing pumpkins of this magnitude.

“We took the boys to Dollywood last year, and they saw the giant display, and they were amazed by it, and I was amazed by it,” said Priscilla Edwards.

Inspired by their Dollywood trip, the Edwards began growing giant pumpkins inside their house in April.

But it wasn’t a one-person job. The whole family was involved, with even the younger members working hard on their new project.

“We had to not let them get too cold, and we got to cover them, and then we have to cut off some of the other pumpkins too,” Caden Edwards said.

Cutting off the other pumpkins allows one fruit to get all of the nutrients, making it grow even bigger.

The family’s biggest pumpkin is named Godzilla after the classic monster from Japanese cinema. It’s around half a ton, and it’s still gaining, putting on close to forty pounds a day.

The Edwards have eight pumpkins of different sizes. However, when they first started this project, they had no idea they would be so successful.

“I was told that it’s best to be safe than sorry because they’re hard, they blow open, they get root rot, they get diseases, and so I was like, ‘I better plant a lot, so I can at least get three pumpkins, at least.’ Well, they all did fine,” Priscilla said.

The Edwards family hopes to enter these pumpkins in multiple contests, including the Blue Ridge Giant Pumpkins Growers Association.

They also plan to continue growing giants in the future and hopefully be able to one day feature their pumpkins in the display at Dollywood that initially inspired them to start their giant pumpkin journey.

Priscilla encourages other people to consider growing pumpkins themselves.

She says you can see the full process of how they got started as well as some of the things they fed their pumpkins on their Hidden Springs Farm Facebook page.