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Contest puts giant pumpkins up for grabs

Blue pumpkins also available during community fundraiser for Hope Community Garden

Are you a pumpkin fan? Do you have dreams of living out your Charlie Brown fantasies with a giant pumpkin of your own?

The Hope Community Garden is giving people the chance to win one of two giant pumpkins, each estimated to weigh more than 451 pounds during the Great Pumpkin Event — a community fundraiser for the garden taking place on Oct. 7., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“It’s been fun (growing the pumpkins),” said Barry Aubin, who grew the two giant pumpkins this year. “And it’s one of those things that seems to bring the community together a little bit. Like, every time I grew pumpkins I noticed there was (more positivity) in the community. And everybody always seems to talk about the pumpkins. There’s always a good vibe in the air and people are happier.”

Taking place at the Community Garden, the fundraiser will offer people an opportunity to win the smaller pumpkin through a raffle, and the bigger pumpkin by guessing its weight. Tickets for the raffle cost $2 for one ticket and $5 for three tickets.

Winners of the pumpkins will get them delivered to their homes — provided that they live in the Hope area.

People will also get the chance to purchase blue pumpkins, grown by Bev and John Mason, during the event. A community barbecue will also be onsite with plenty of food to enjoy.

“You should bring your family and friends. It’s good, clean, fun,” Aubin said. “(For the pumpkins), I bought a seed from a 1567 pound pumpkin and a 1389 pound pumpkin from Howard Dill enterprises and grew them at the Hope Community Garden. I used organic fertilizer and no pesticides or fungicides, so they are edible.

A local of Hope of over two years, Aubin is the community’s resident giant pumpkin expert with over 12 years of pumpkin growing experience under his belt. In fact, according to Aubin, his love for pumpkins start as a child, after his father got him into it. Aubin said his father would often talk about the giant pumpkins in Smokey Lake, Alberta and the two even grew their own pumpkin — albeit, one of the smaller ones. Aubin would carry these memories with him into adulthood and, in honour of his father, he eventually began growing giant pumpkins.

His first giant pumpkin, which he grew in Surrey, weighed 451 pounds. The next year, his pumpkin was 350 pounds but it split from growing too fast. After a few years of growing the crops, Aubin took a break before trying again this year.

He thanks the Community Garden members, Bev, Esther Brysch, and Luanne. He also wants to thank Chester Sweezy, his neighbour, as well as his mother, Doreen Thibault, who both helped to water the pumpkins when he was at work during “the hot summer heat.”

“It was a community effort and I couldn’t have done it without them.”

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Kemone Moodley

About the Author: Kemone Moodley

I began working with the Hope Standard on August 2022.
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