How a local woman grew a 1,102-pound pumpkin named Calvin

Massive gourd, which gave Cheryl Siemens bragging rights over husband, would have taken second place at recent provincial weigh-in.

Jordyn Siemens poses for a photo with 1

It started, 1,102 pounds ago, as just a pumpkin seed in a house-pot at a Huntingdon-area farm.

Six months later, the giant gourd Cheryl Siemens named Calvin Kline sits prone at Willow View Farms, straining under its own weight and gravity.

For visitors, it’s a highlight of a farm visit, evidence that nature can sprout creations that stretch the limits of believability.

For Siemens, though, Calvin Kline means more: bragging rights.

For more than 15 years, Cheryl and Murray Siemens have battled each other to grow the biggest pumpkin.

During that time Cheryl, who gets help from daughter Jordyn, has usually won.

Murray, she says, “Is not quite as religious about” taking care care of the pumpkins,” she admits.

But last year, Murray – assisted by daughter Kelsey – turned the tables, raising an 817-pound behemoth. The pumpkin was the largest Willow View Farms had grown to that date.

Until this year. In April, Cheryl got five Atlantic giant pumpkins seeds – three for herself and two for her husband – from friend Kate Mumford and planted them in pots in her house. After a move to a greenhouse, the pumpkins were planted in separate plots on the family’s farm in early May, at which point Murray took over.

And while one of Murray’s failed even to sprout, all three of Cheryl’s seeds grew at a rapid pace. Regular fertilization with turkey manure and a special fish fertilizer mixture helped the monster gourds put on hundreds of pounds.

One of the pumpkins, dubbed Ugly Randy for an unsightly gash and divot in its top, was smaller than a basketball on July 15. Two weeks later, it weighted 223 pounds. A week after that, it was 375 pounds. By the time the gourd was weighed for the last time, it registered 1,080 pounds on the farm’s pallet scale.

But it was Calvin Kline – “Kline” being the last name of the person who had the pumpkin’s seeds – that became the largest pumpkin ever grown by the Siemens. While the pair didn’t make it to the official Great Pumpkin Weigh-off in Langley earlier this month, Calvin Kline would have finished second at the event, behind only an 1,172-pound behemoth.

The pumpkins will be on display until the end of the month, with a third gourd – called Sugar Rea – the subject of a guess-the-weight contest. After Halloween comes and goes, both Sugar Rea, the most visibly attractive pumpkin, and Calvin Kline will be harvested for their seeds. Ugly Randy, meanwhile, is destined to become fodder for the farm’s animals.

 

Just Posted

Trial begins for man charged with 2010 murder of Mandy Johnson

Langley single mom was fatally shot while in vehicle in Abbotsford

KPU campuses go smoke-free starting Jan. 21 – and that includes vaping

‘We didn’t make this decision lightly’ says prez of the Surrey-based institution

City wants to know about danger quakes pose to Abbotsford’s dike system

City commissioning report to examine seismically unstable flood protections

Woman charged in Abbotsford mall stabbing served time for 2001 killing

Victim in Edmonton killing was stabbed eight times with kitchen knife

Trial date scheduled for man charged with killing Abbotsford officer

Oscar Arfmann slated to go to trial in New Westminster in January 2019

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

VIDEO: Nurse’s experience treating Rohingya refugees heart-wrenching

Kalisse Barwich spent three weeks working inside 24-bed Rohingya care unit in Bangladesh

Packed house gives Giants extra boost

Largest crowd at Langley Events Centre since opening night last season

Bank of Canada hikes interest rate to 1.25%, cites strong economic data

The rate increase is expected to prompt Canada’s large banks to raise their prime lending rates

5 to start your day

BC Liberals staffer in court for ethnic vote scandal, friends mourn boy killed in Vancouver and more

Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by Canadian immigrant

“This is a good example, I think, that will be helpful to change views about immigration. And maybe for Mr. Trump himself to consider immigrants as contributors to advancing science, advancing our societies.”

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

The rival Koreas took major steps toward reducing their bitter animosity

Canada, U.S. lead call for sanctions against North Korea

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces engagement

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh engaged to clothing designer Gurkiran Kaur

Most Read