‘It’s the Great Pumpkin,’ Osseo

Residents harvest 520-pound pumpkin

One Osseo family decided to participate in a contest. A family contest to see who could grow the biggest pumpkin this season.

Andrew and Nancy Olson started growing their pumpkin inside their Osseo home back in April. Nancy’s mother and brother-in-law started growing their pumpkins — they had four — at the same time on their hobby farm for the contest.

“We ended up planting the pumpkin outside in May,” Andrew said.

The Olson’s decided to grow their pumpkin along the south side of their home.

The pumpkin received a weekly feeding, which consisted of ingredients of miracle grow and fish oil among others.

He also ended up rigging up a watering system especially for the pumpkin for daily waterings.

The Olson’s think this summer’s heat spell really helped their pumpkin to grow.

They also kept a 20-ounce bottle near the pumpkin to see the growth progress of the pumpkin in pictures. Nancy said the pumpkin some days would double in size.

On Sept. 4, the pumpkin was estimated to be around 450 pounds. The leaves of the pumpkin averaged about 19- to 20-inches in diameter on Sept. 4.

Andrew harvested the pumpkin Saturday, Sept. 8. He cut the pumpkin off the vine, placed it on a piece of plywood with some help and used a tractor to drag it over to a truck. A small forklift then lifted the giant pumpkin into the truck, where the pumpkin was driven to a truck scale.

The official pumpkin’s weight — whopping 520 pounds.

The Olson’s won their family contest. The Olson’s pumpkin had a circumference of 122 inches. The other pumpkin was 113 inches in circumferences with an unofficial weight of 480 pounds. Nancy’s mother and brother-in-law have not harvested their pumpkin because they are trying to see how big they can grow their pumpkin, but the contest is over.

Andrew will be handing out the pumpkin seeds to people they know that want to participate in the contest next year. According Nancy, “Andrew is already planning and researching.”

As for the Olson’s pumpkin, they are unsure what they are going to do with it but “it is being safely stored.”

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