By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Worland man growing three giant pumpkins in hopes of breaking the state record has had a tough week with the gigantic gourds, he told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday.
Patty, one of Jay Richard’s smaller pumpkins, split open on Friday (pictured), but managing to weigh in at around 1,100 pounds before doing so.
“And then there were two,” Richard said. “Patty is doomed, she goes to the pigs [Tuesday]. I tried but she is toast.”
“That’s all folks,” Richard said after disposing the pumpkin. “She was pumpkin soup today. Really sad, the wall thickness was amazing, even where she split. Even with this much gone, my tractor ( 900lb capacity) couldn’t lift it any higher than this. She was heavy!”
Richard attempted to preserve the pumpkin to use it at the annual pumpkin weigh-off and drop in Worland on Oct. 2, but due to the warm days, there was just no way that keeping rotting fruit for a month was going to be a good idea.
According to the University of Wyoming extension office (which has information on how to grow giant pumpkins), large pumpkins may split or crack due to growing at such a fast rate.
Maci, the largest of the three pumpkins (and Richard’s hope for breaking the current state record), is also still looking good, despite Richard finding a soft spot on the gourd about two weeks ago.
“The big one is still ok, but the vine has about had enough,” Richard said. “As long as nothing weird happens, she should make it. She is estimating over 1,500 pounds but the growth had almost stopped, due to the colder weather. It’s supposed to warm up when but the 40 degree mornings have really set her back. I’m more concerned on keeping her alive than pushing for every pound now.”
Maci’s growth is about 40 pounds heavier than when Cowboy State Daily checked in with Richard on Sept. 1, where it was estimated to weigh around 1,468 pounds.
The current state record, held by a Cheyenne man, is 1,491 pounds. If Maci really does weigh what Richard says she does, then he will break the record next month.
Sally, the last of Richard’s three pumpkins, is also still growing, but at a slower rate.
“If I can keep Sally going I’m going to drop her,” he said. “She is now estimating over 1,100 pounds as well.”