Giant pumpkin weighs in at 400kg

Farmer Dale Oliver, of Knockrow, with his giant pumpkin. It is one of the biggest recorded on the North Coast.
Farmer Dale Oliver, of Knockrow, with his giant pumpkin. It is one of the biggest recorded on the North Coast. Kate O’Neill

TIPPING the scales at more than 400kg, this massive pumpkin grown by Knockrow farmer Dale Oliver is one of the biggest and heaviest grown on the North Coast.

And if it makes it there intact, it stands a good chance of winning this year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show Pumpkin growing competition.

Mr Oliver, who has been growing giant pumpkins for more than a decade, said it was one his best, despite this year’s difficult growing conditions. Of the several he had growing, all but this one have rotted away.

“It’s just been too wet. I’m lucky to have it really,” he said.

Mr Oliver said the seeds for the Atlantic Giant were purchased on the internet and the pumpkin’s flower was pollinated in November. He helped it along with “heaps of fertiliser and organic matter” and picked it three Sundays ago. It is now in storage in his shed to prevent it from rotting before the April show.

Mr Oliver is humble about his achievement, but fellow giant pumpkin grower John Mills, of Brunswick Heads, said the Knockrow pumpkin was “a beauty”. He and Mr Oliver put the pumpkin on scales sent up from Sydney and believe it could weigh up to 441kg – making it very close to Bangalow grower John Tidge’s 456 kg monster produced in 2009.

“It’s the second biggest grown in this area,” Mr Mills said.

The pumpkin may lose up to 30kg in storage but with the current show record at only 270kg, it will still be a major contender.

Now it’s just a matter of getting the pumpkin to Sydney and praying that rot doesn’t strike before then.

Last year, Mr Mills’s 320kg giant collapsed from rot just before it was to be loaded on to a truck bound for Sydney.

“You can’t talk about the one that got away, if it doesn’t get to the scales it doesn’t count,” Mr Mills said.

“But if he (Mr Oliver) gets it to the line he’ll be very, very hard to beat.”

Environment groups walk away from NSW forestry negotiations

LOGGING LOGGERHEAD: Peace between environment groups and the NSW Government is threatened.

Agreements between government and environmentalists threatened

Regions declared big winners in SCU funding deal

ALL SMILES: Professor Shoemaker is thrilled by the deal struck with the Federal Government.

Funding deal puts Allied Health campus in Coffs back on track

Swimmer missing at Valla while others rescued along Coast

An IRB is searching the waters at Valla Beach for a missing swimmer.

Search for missing man caught in Valla rip will start again at 6am.

Local Partners

Cost of having children soaring sky high

PARENTS-TO-BE have been warned that it’s now more expensive than ever to bring a child into the world, and competition among parents is driving up the price.

These are the sex capitals of Australia

Sex is in demand.

Data reveals surprise Australian suburbs where people want sex the most

Aussie couple road tests hotels by having sex in them

Justin and Jess have revealed their steamy hotel experiences.

They won a comp to share stories of getting lucky in hotel rooms

‘I have slept with 100 people’

The documentary is one person’s quest to track down their 100 past sexual encounters

Documentary counts down one person’s full list of sexual encounters

Pregnant Erin Molan hospitalised

Erin Molan has been announced as the new host of the Footy Show. Picture: Jonathan Ng

She collapsed, hitting her head on the ground

Botched jump led to years of hell

Hilary Judith nearly died in a skydiving accident. But that was only the start of the trauma.

Her body was reliving the accident, over and over again