"It's the Great Pumpkin, Bainbridge Island!"
A giant pumpkin was placed on display outside of Johansson-Clark Real Estate for the first time in approximately four years Wednesday, Oct. 9. The massive fruit weighed in at 1,791 pounds at a recent competition in California and is, according to pumpkin farmer Joel Holland, the largest ever grown in the state.
It is currently the second largest pumpkin grown this year on the West Coast, Holland said.
The firm of Johansson-Clark, the oldest continually operating real estate firm in the county, had in the past made a tradition out of placing giant pumpkins on display outside their office on Winslow Way for Halloween.
"Craig Clark had been doing it for years," said managing broker Gary Marcy. "They used to be 400 pounds max when we started."
Holland is pleased with the fruits of his labor, pun intended.
"It was a lot of fun," he said. "We had the world record at one time. We've been growing them for a long time."
After being transported from his farm in Sumner to Bainbridge, Holland turned the pumpkin over to several volunteers from the Washington State Ferry Shipyard and their forklift for placement on the sidewalk.
According to Holland, one pumpkin pie requires approximately two pounds of actual pumpkin, which means that this pumpkin could make 895.5 pies. This specific pumpkin was approximately 100 days old at time of delivery to Bainbridge. Holland said that in ideal growing conditions a healthy giant pumpkin in its prime can grow 30 to 40 pounds in a single day.
Pumpkins are not vegetables, and are in fact a kind of berry. They belong to the family cucurbitaceae, along with melons, cucumbers, squash and gourds.
The pumpkin will be on display in front of the office of Johansson-Clark Real Estate, 393 Winslow Way East, through the end of the month.
For more information about Joel Holland and his advice on how to grow your own giant pumpkin, visit www.hollandsgiants.com.