Monster pumpkins

IT was a tough year to grow giant pumpkins; however, the annual competition in Naracoorte still attracted some impressive entries.

The weigh-in was held at Hutchison's Nursery on Sunday morning with 14 people bringing in their biggest specimens to vie for the title.

Edward Bowen took out first prize with his 45.5kg whopper, receiving a $200 voucher to spend at the nursery. His older brother Jackson came second with a weight of 40kg and last year's champion Kym Hebberman third with 37.5kg.

"Most unusual" went to Robert Kriesl whose blue hued vegetable weighed 10.5kg and the junior winners were Jack Grady, aged four, and sisters Mia, seven, and Taylor, five, with their 18.5kg pumpkin.

The sizes were significantly smaller than the 2013 event where the biggest weighed 79.5kg.

The winners of the colouring competition were announced after the weigh-in.

In the "five years and under" category Molly Haiton won first place, Mackenzie Burke second and Jas Tidy third. Bailey Wotton took out the "six to eight" age group, followed by Abagail Burke and Kuncheria Chavara. "Eight and over" was won by Samantha Burke, with Shakira Elmer in second and Makayla Elmer third.

The competition is organised each year by Brenda Gibbs and her sister Mandy Tonello with the support of Hutchison's Nursery.

It benefits the Naracoorte Water Play Program for young children who have special needs.

"I was very happy with how it went," Mandy said. "I didn't think we would get so many because it hasn't been a good year for growing them."

Organisers were planning to up the ante next year by offering a $500 prize for the person who manages grow a pumpkin over 100kg.

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