By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Worland man growing giant pumpkins in hopes of winning glory and a state record has a gourd that weighs more than 1,500 pounds, he believes.
Jay Richard told Cowboy State Daily on Monday that Maci, his heaviest pumpkin, is measuring about 1,554 pounds and Sally, his lighter one, is estimated at around 1,178 pounds.
“Growth has slowed way down and the plants are getting tired, but they’re still adding a few pounds,” Richard said. “I know Sally will be lighter than the tape says, because of the sound she makes when I ‘thunk’ her.”
Richard explained that Maci’s genetics come from two pumpkins that set records in the states of Alaska and Wyoming.
Andy Corbin of Cheyenne, who currently holds the title for Wyoming’s heaviest pumpkin at 1,491 pounds, crossed the two genetic lines last year and gave Richard a seed.
If Richard’s current estimates are correct, Maci the pumpkin wouldn’t have to grow any further to break the state record, but he’s hoping to keep it on the vine as long as possible until the official pumpkin weigh-off on Oct. 2 in Worland.
“I hope she doesn’t disappoint,” he said.
The slowdown in the growth of Maci and Sally is due to cooler temperatures in Worland, as nights can get down to 38 degrees sometimes, Richard said. He added he will likely harvest Sally from the vine in about 10 days.
“We have had some good heat lately and clear skies. Hoping they’ll add a bit more weight,” Richard said.
Last week, one of Richard’s three pumpkins, Patty, split open due to its extensive growth.
“And then there were two,” Richard said after Patty’s demise. “Patty is doomed, she goes to the pigs [Tuesday]. I tried but she is toast.”
“That’s all folks,” Richard said after disposing the pumpkin. “She was pumpkin soup today. Really sad, the wall thickness was amazing, even where she split. Even with this much gone, my tractor ( 900lb capacity) couldn’t lift it any higher than this. She was heavy!”