Pumpkins weighing around a ton are being grown by competitive giant pumpkin growers across the Midwest. Grower Joe Ailts tells WGN’s Steve Alexander the seeds for these giants can cost over $1000, and that’s for one seed and no guarantee it will germinate. Weigh-offs are held and champions are crowned at pumpkin festivals. Then, the giant gourds, which are not good for pie making, are destroyed in a variety of creative ways: hollowed out and used in pumpkin boat races, obliterated with explosives, or dropped from a 100-foot crane. Joe, of the St. Croix Growers Association in Minnesota, says the impact shakes the ground and makes a distinctive “womp” sound, with “pumpkin shrapnel” flying everywhere.
A giant pumpkin crashes and smashes to the ground after being dropped from a 100-foot crane. (Photo from the St. Croix Growers Association)
"Pumpkin shrapnel" everywhere is one of the results of giant pumpkins, weighing hundreds of pounds, being destroyed by explosives and 100-foot drops from cranes. It's a rite of autumn at giant pumpkin fests across the Midwest.