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Kate Mumford's giant pumpkin ready to smash B.C. record

10/10/2014 03:54 EDT | Updated 12/09/2014 05:59 EST
Kate Mumford is headed to the scale this weekend, and she's hoping it tips at nearly 300 kilograms.

She has her heart set on breaking the provincial record for the largest green squash the third annual Aldor Acres Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Langley, B.C.

Over the last five months, Mumford has watched her Dill's Atlantic Giant Pumpkin grow in the middle of her Brookswood backyard, putting on up to 18 kilograms per day.

"My husband would tell you that I spend more time with the pumpkin than I do with him," Mumford joked to Rick Cluff on CBC Radio's The Early Edition.

Her pride and joy now weighs in at roughly 294 kilograms, or just under 650 pounds, according to her calculations.

This isn't Mumford's first weigh-off. Last year, she grew a 170-kilogram pumpkin that placed seventh at Aldor Acres.

The current provincial record for a green squash, the category she's entering this year, is a mere 63 kilograms.

Huge challenge to move

It's not an easy task to get the giant squash to the scale.

"I've recruited quite a few friends for this evening to come and try and lift this thing," Mumford said Thursday morning.

She has a heavy-duty tarp equipped with handles and, along with seven others, she'll carefully load it onto her horse trailer.

"There's all sorts of rules in terms of it can't have any holes, [and] it can't be broken. The pressure is on tonight to get this thing in the trailer," she said.

Mumford keeps an online diary of her pumpkin's progress. She says people are surprisingly interested in her newfound hobby.

"When my [other] pumpkin rotted out this year, more people sent words of condolence, and they cared more than I thought they did," she said.  "My mother-in-law sent me a sympathy card."

Giant vegetables a growing trend

Her coworkers at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have jumped on board too, planting a giant pumpkin on their balcony as part of a team-building exercise.

Mumford says giant vegetable culture is growing in popularity in B.C.

"Out on the east coast, it is very, very popular with big weigh-offs and big prize money," she said. "We're just getting started here, but there's a really great group of growers in B.C. that all share information and help each other out."

The weigh-off happens this Saturday, Oct. 11 at 2 p.m., with a charity auction to follow at 4 p.m.

After that, Mumford has final plans for her enormous pumpkin.

"I'm going to carve it for Halloween," she said. "I'll probably use a steak knife. That's what I used last year."

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