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Hunt pumpkin

Jane and Phil Hunt stand behind their giant pumpkin that took first place with a weight of 1771.5 pounds at the 33rd annual Port Elgin Pumpkinfest October 5.

Hub Staff

Jane and Phil Hunt rolled into Port Elgin October 5 with what would later be announced the champion pumpkin at the 33rd annual Port Elgin Pumpkinfest weigh-off. From Cameron, Ontario, the Hunt’s giant vegetable weighed in at 1771.5 pounds, with an 84.5 pound lead over Jeff Warner's second place pumpkin from Englehart, Ontario. Warner achieved a personal best with his 1,687 pound gourd.

The Hunts are seasoned growers who have been cultivating colossal vegetables since 1992. They have nabbed the Canadian Record Pumpkin twice and currently hold the Canadian Rutabaga Record of 96.5 pounds. They have also managed to come within 11 pounds of the world record pumpkin. After decades of gardening.

Phil is a self proclaimed soil scientist but admittedly is still picking up tips along the way. "It's not just dirt anymore," said Phil.

Although they don’t farm for a living, gardening has always been a hobby for the Hunt family and after witnessing their first giant vegetable weigh-off, they came to a realization. "We’re not going to win any awards with sports but we’re pretty good at gardening."

Their hefty harvest will be proudly displayed outside their home on Highway 35. Jane said they had a professional woodcarver chisel out a halloween masterpiece from the previous year’s pumpkin. We always carve them for halloween, said Jane.

Their Pumpkinfest entry was one of only two pumpkins that the Hunts grew this year. The other remains on the vine, destined for the Woodbridge weigh-off next weekend. Phil confessed they suspected their second pick will be the bigger of the two.

Another notable gargantuan entry at Port Elgin Pumpkinfest was a Canadian record breaking sunflower soaring to a height of 320.5 inches, grown by John Butler of St Thomas, Ontario. It took a team of four volunteers to carefully upright the sunflower between the rafters of the Missionary Church. A 124.5 pound watermelon won Butler another first place prize and a bushel gourd weighing 234.5 pounds stole first place for Jeff Warner from Englehart, Ontario.

View the 2019 Pumpkinfest leaderboard at pumpkinfest.org.

See also: Gate entry up 10 to 15 percent for 33rd annual Pumpkinfest

sunflower

The 320.5 inch sunflower, grown by John Butler from St Thomas, Ontario, soared past the previous national record of 285 inches, at Pumpkinfest in Port Elgin.

Kline squash

Todd Kline made it worth the nine hour trip from Shawville, Quebec to Port Elgin Pumpkinfest by capturing first place in the squash category at 1154.5 pounds.

Lyons marrow

Chris Lyons from Scarborough, Ontario, stood above his winning 97 pound marrow at the Giant Vegetable Weigh-off at the 33rd annual Port Elgin Pumpkinfest October 5.

beet

Port Elgin Pumpkinfest Master of Ceremonies Dave Middleton, paraded a burly beet root grown by Ryan Hicks from Granton, Ontario October 5 in the Growers' Tent.

wine

In what has become a Pumpkinfest tradition, Giant Vegetables Growers of Ontario Hall of Famer Dave McCallum (right) cracked a bottle of his homemade pumpkin wine and toasted with Master of Ceremonies Dave Middleton.

Last updated: October 7, 2019

 

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