Rotten luck for 497kg favourite as husband and wife team win giant pumpkin contest

2016-02-28 13:00
(Photo supplied)

(Photo supplied)

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Cape Town - Husband and wife team Louwrens and Theresa van Deventer bagged first and second prize respectively at the annual Pumpkin Festival in Heidelberg with pumpkins weighing in at a whopping 373kg and 354.5kg.

They beat record holder and reigning champion, Pinkie Swart, whose 497.5kg pumpkin was sadly found to be rotten a week before the competition.

But Swart's wife Ronèl salvaged some family pride by coming in third with her 342.5kg beauty.

The festival was held in the Western Cape town on Saturday and included a pumpkin throwing competition, an "ugliest pumpkin" competition and a pumpkin carving contest.

The seeds are provided by the Shoprite Group's fresh fruit and vegetable procurement division Freshmark.

According to communications manager JC Smit, entrants can use any seed, but the ones supplied by their division are not genetically modified and originate from the famed US Dill's Atlantic Giant variety of pumpkin.

He said each grower had his or her own secret to successful giant pumpkin growing and competition was very tight.

Photographs from Saturday's event show pumpkins so large that they are carried on fork lifts and in trucks.

A 400kg pumpkin pie was baked and a big piece will be donated to the local feeding scheme and a financial contribution made to a home for the aged.

The current world record for a pumpkin is 1054kg and was set by Beni Meier in Switzerland in 2014.

The winners also received cash prizes.

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