Looking for a truly unique place to take those obligatory pumpkin patch family photos this year? You might want to head to a farm in Mercer County, West Virginia, where your family can be dwarfed by some enormous produce. That's where two industrious farmers have cultivated a patch full of pumpkins that require a forklift to pick up.
The largest pumpkin Larry Southern and his father Clayton have growing in their patch currently weighs in at 954 pounds, according to WFIE 14 News -- and it's reportedly still growing at a rate of 2 pounds per day! When the Southerns cut the enormous pumpkin off the vine on October 6th, this massive pumpkin is expected to tip the scales at over a half-ton. See what we mean about the forklift?
The smallest pumpkin in the Southern's patch weighs in at a measly 500 pounds, and a so-called "middle sized" fruit weighs about 858 pounds! Last year, the father-son duo grew a 116 pound pumpkin almost by accident and that inspired them to set their sights on the big time: The annual West Virginia Pumpkin Festival.
By selecting seeds with a reputation for ridiculously outrageous growth from farmers in Washington state and Canada, the Southerns secured a solid genetic basis from which to spawn their orange monstrosities. Then, using only organic compost and 100 gallons of water per plant per day (they've got six plants!), they've succeeded in bringing in a harvest of pumpkins that could each yield a truckload of pumpkin pie.
We'd say that chances are looking pretty good that the Southerns will take top honors at the festival. But we have to wonder: Does a 1,000 pound pumpkin taste good?