Gavin’s giant gourd weighs a quarter of a ton

Words and photos by Dave Barry 

A pumpkin weighing over a quarter of a ton has been grown at an allotment on the fertile outskirts of Scarborough.

Gavin Short, who sowed the seed six months ago, reckons his metre-tall specimen could weigh about 300 kilos.

But he can’t tell for sure as it is too heavy to weigh.

The only way to work it out would have been to take it to a giant-vegetable show in Harrogate, where specialist scales are used.

Gavin’s lottie neighbour Ken Gill is confident that Gavin’s gargantuan gourd is bigger and heavier than the winner at the show, which was mid-September. The judges included Roger Burnett of Scarborough.

Big-veg growing is serious business. Gavin bought his seed from champion grower Matthew Oliver, who holds the record for the largest pumpkin grown outdoors in Britain.

It weighed 600kg and was spawned from a seed taken from a 1,054kg pumpkin. Grown in Switzerland in 2014, it holds the world record.

The seed set another record when Ipswich-based seed company Thompson & Morgan paid £1,250 for it at auction earlier in the year. The company asked Matthew to grow the pumpkin.

Needless to say, Gavin is contemplating selling his seeds on Ebay.

His big yellow pumpkin easily squashed the competition when the pumpkins and marrows were weighed at Hackness Road allotments in Newby.

There was no prize. “It’s just a bit of fun between the allotment holders”, says Ken.

However, Gavin won £25 from the parish council for the biggest marrow. It was fractionally lighter than the heaviest marrow at Harrogate, which weighed 46 kilos.

Gavin and his wife Julie have been growing vegetables on allotment 71 since 2016.