The Big Move – Giant Pumpkin Grower Takes His Entry to the Fair
Weigh-off is Tuesday in Palmer
UPDATE: Dale Marshall's 931-pound pumpkin won first place in the State Fair weigh-off Tuesday.
ANCHORAGE - For the common gardener, harvesting a homegrown vegetable is usually a simple process.
But for Dale Marshall, harvesting just one pumpkin in his South Anchorage backyard is a two-hour ordeal.
“Right now I just want to lift it up and make sure there's no holes in the bottom of it,” said Marshall as he looks down at his estimated 900-pound pumpkin.
"Last year everything looked fine [with his more than 1,700 pound pumpkin] and we lifted it up and a mouse ran out and we went ‘oh man,’” he said.
Monday, 88 days after it began growing, Marshall cut the giant pumpkin free from the vine.
He then used a small crane to lift it out of the greenhouse – which had to be partially taken apart.
It will be entered in the Alaska Midnight Sun Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off at the State Fair Tuesday.
Though Marshall knows his produce his not as big as past years, he’s still proud to show it off.
“This year it was kind of cool when I needed it to be warm for a couple of weeks,” he said.
“You gotta make them believe that they're a thousand miles further south than they are, they love 85 degree days and 65 degree nights," said Marshall.
His giant hobby keeps him in the garden for a few hours every day.
“Oh you know, it gives you something to do when you come home from work and play with it,” said Marshall.
And the challenge will keep him in the garden for years to come.