One of South Africa’s heaviest pumpkins was crowned at the Giant Pumpkin Festival in Heidelberg, Western Cape, the past weekend.
Weighing in at 601,8kg, it set a record for the festival - beating last year’s winner which weighed 532,4kg. But it fell 11kg short of the national record of 613kg.
Speaking to Landbouweekblad, the winner, Jaco du Plessis from Vyeboom, Villiersdorp, said his pumpkin proved persistence pays off.
“It was third time lucky! This is the furthest I have come in this competition,” du Plessis said.
He said in 2017 he came in at fourth place with a 300kg pumpkin.
“I knew this year that my pumpkin was one of the three biggest, but I was still surprised when it was the biggest.“
His pumpkin won him R17,500 in prize money. The runners-up were Piet Lotz and his wife Elizna from Riversdal in second and third place respectively. Their pumpkins weighed 510,6kg and 460,8kg.
Du Plessis said he used pumpkin seeds from one of last year’s biggest pumpkins to grow it. He added that he had already started growing his pumpkin for next year.
“I am incredibly excited and happy over my award… [growing pumpkins] became a passion for me through the competition at the Villiersdorp primary school,” Du Plessis told the South Cape Forum.
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