Sharon pumpkin growing for the world record

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Steve Connolly’s baby is getting awfully fat, and he couldn’t be happier.

At 5 months old and more than 4 feet tall, Connolly’s prize pumpkin is gaining about 6 pounds a day. He believes it weighs about 1,800 pounds already, which would make it the biggest pumpkin grown this year.

The Sharon resident and giant vegetable grower will find out Oct. 11 when his prize pumpkin is weighed at Frerich's Farm in Warren. He and his pumpkin will be in competition with dozens of other growers from across New England and Guinness World Records will be there too to verify if  whether Connolly‘s homegrown behemoth has set a new record.    The current record is 1,689 pounds.

Connolly, a 53-year-old engineer, has been perfecting his green thumb in the backyard of his Massapoag Avenue home for several years. He grew his first 100-pound pumpkin in 2000.

“It takes years to get good at it,” he said.  

The biggest worry for growers of gigantic gourds: that the pumpkin will burst before weigh-in day.

Connolly planted five pumpkins on May 1;  and today, there are only two survivors survive despite his careful cultivation.

“You need an heir and a spare,” he said. “They crack, they blow up during rapid growth.”

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