In farming, it is not strange to have a bull weighing in at 800kg. Their muscular characteristics assist them in fighting for domination over a herd, giving the winner superior access to cows for reproduction. A pumpkin of 790kg, however, is unheard of.
To everyone’s surprise, a pumpkin weighing a hefty 790kg was awarded at the recent Goliat van Gat Pumpkin Festival. Held at Silverton in Pretoria, this year’s festival clocked more than 20 pumpkin entries weighing a combined 3 234kg.
Pumpkins for a worthy cause
Organised by the Cullinan farmers’ union, this festival is much more than just a beauty pageant for pumpkins. All the pumpkins weighed in were donated to various charities that dispersed the pumpkins to people in and around Pretoria.
The winning pumpkin queen was a beaut named Johanna. Johanna was grown to a whopping 790kg by Wykus Lamprecht who won the annual prize for biggest pumpkin at the festival.
Johanna is clearly a size queen, being 226kg heavier than the previous record-holder.
The importance of tender, love and care
Oupoot, Lamprecht’s previous biggest pumpkin from 2020, weighed “a mere” 245kg.
Johanna was cultivated in Lamprecht’s backyard, which he claims is more than enough space to grow a prize-winning pumpkin. It took more than five months, 160 days to be exact, to coax Johanna to her eventual size.
Apparently pumpkins need a lot of coaxing and pampering. Johanna was regularly swaddled in blankets to stop her from ripening too soon, and fans were placed around her to chase away any pesky insects and pests.
It eventually took ten people to get this prize-winning pumpkin to the Pretoria farmers’ market in one piece and in the nick of time to get weighed.
In the second place was Peet Joubert from Centurion with his 532kg pumpkin while Lizzie Lamprecht from Meyerton came third with her 399kg winter squash.
There was also a separate competition for farmers under 16. Janru Reyneke from Sinoville in Pretoria won this category with his 104kg pumpkin.
By the way, if you thought that Lamprecht’s 790kg pumpkin should hold a world record, you’d be mistaken.
The biggest pumpkin ever weighed clocked 1 190.49kg on the scale. It was grown by Belgian Mathias Willemijns for an Atlantic giant grown in 2016.