One-ton pumpkin shatters weight record

(CBS News) GREENE. R.I. - For David Frerichs, and pumpkin growers across the globe, this is the year they have been waiting for. History is being made.

This year growers get to see a pumpkin that makes the one most people put on their doorstep for Halloween, look like a pomegranate seed. This years legendary pumpkin even dwarfs the massive 1,600-pound giants that typically win pumpkin growing contests. It is so large most growers would think the poundage was not possible.

"It would just implode," said Frerichs. "That the shell of the pumpkin, the ribs inside, wouldn't be strong enough to hold that weight."

Just as breaking the sound barrier was to aerospace or running the four-minute mile is to sports, the Holy Grail for giant pumpkin people is the one-ton pumpkin. For decades growers have been pursuing this in vain.

A few months ago, rumors started circulating that some giants were growing in the backyard of a house in Greene, Rhode Island.

The homeowner had to plant foliage in order to discourage looky-loos, reporters, and others who have been desperately trying to sneak a peek. Ron Wallace, a country club manager, has tried to downplay expectations of what has been growing in his backyard until the pumpkin was weighed.

Last week, the pumpkin was weighed. It weighed 2,009 pounds, that's over a ton.

But the really amazing thing is that the pumpkin Wallace weighed is not the biggest one in his backyard. An even heavier, more grotesque fruit is set to be weighed tomorrow in a contest.

"This isn't a beauty contest," said Wallace.

According to Wallace, the larger pumpkin has been putting on about 40 pounds a day.

"You could see it grow," said Wallace.

There are cars that weigh less than his larger pumpkin. While its exact weight won't be known until it gets weighed tomorrow, 2,100 pounds is not out of the question.

"Now everyone is saying let's go for 2,500 pounds," said Wallace. "There has to be a limit at some point. There has to be a limit on everything, I think."

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  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.

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