Guess the weight of a giant pumpkin grown by a Summerland farmer

How heavy is that pumpkin?

Casey Richardson

A Summerland farmer who specializes in growing massive pumpkins is challenging the community to guess the weight of one giant one in a fundraiser to support Muscular Dystrophy efforts.

Billy Boerboom is the owner and operator of Windmill Gardens and the Apple Barn in Summerland, who also has been growing giant pumpkins for the last few years.

“About three years ago my wife and kids bought me an iPad, sat me down and organized me on a pumpkin page. I was just in awe of the incredible energy that plants are able to provide to grow 200,300, 400 or 500 pound pumpkins. It's amazing that in 110 days what plant material can do,” Boerboom explained.

“In tough times I wanted to try and do something that's fun and that's what I've tried to achieve here.”

Boerboom hopes to get a pumpkin weighing in at 1000 pounds one day.

“I told my wife, I said, I'm gonna grow a 1000 pound pumpkin. And she says, ‘Well, that's gonna be hard to achieve’. And I said, ‘Well, let's give it a good crack.’ And I'm up for a good challenge. I love challenges.”

So far, the heaviest pumpkin Boerboom has grown weighed in at just under 700 pounds.

The pumpkins are grown from a particular variety of seeds picked up from the US and it takes a lot for them to grow to full size.

“[It takes] a lot of kindness. A lot of healthy soil, good farm management, water on time, fertilizer on time of course. And a little bit of luck always helps.”

Luckily, the intense heat wave hit at the right time for the pumpkins this year and helped them grow.

Now one of the prize pumpkins is sitting right outside the Local Motive Market, waiting for people to put in their best estimate of the weight by purchasing a $2 ticket. The closest guess will win a prize package full of gift cards valued at over $400.

Market Owner Thomas Tumbach said that the pumpkin has definitely drawn some interest.

“It’s quite an eye catching thing here at our store...It's a massive vegetable so it's definitely worth coming to see.”

Tips for guessing the pumpkins weight is to be creative and remember that the pumpkin is very dense.

“My suggestion would be try to lift it and when you realize you can't lift it calculate how much you can lift and I personally can't lift it myself so if that gives any indication of how heavy it is,” Tumbach added.

All proceeds will go towards supporting Muscular Dystrophy efforts in the valley.

“As a firefighter, I'm the voice for the Summerland Fire Department on Muscular Dystrophy and I just thought we would organize a guess the weight,” Boerboom said.

To get a giant pumpkin of your own, give Boerboom a call to pick one up from the Apple Barn in Summerland at 250-490-6158.

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