Hedland’s hild-sized pumpkin just kept growing

Robert DoughertyNorth West Telegraph
South Hedland’s Anthony and Tanya Holman in the backyard with their 80.4kilo pumpkin.
Camera IconSouth Hedland’s Anthony and Tanya Holman in the backyard with their 80.4kilo pumpkin. Credit: North West Telegraph

Mining dump trucks and ships aren’t the only giants in the Pilbara, with two gardeners growing an 80.4kg pumpkin in their backyard.

Anthony and Tanya Holman, from South Hedland, have been babysitting the child-sized vegetable since finding a seed during a family trip to Perth in September 2017 and planting it in April.

“We sort of grew it for fun, just a novelty thing and also grew it for the seed as well to encourage people (to start gardening),” Ms Holman, who works as a driving instructor, said.

“It was very exciting because we didn’t know when it was going to stop (growing) … at one time it was growing over 1cm a day.

“People would go by and see it on the fence and say ‘is that real?’, neighbours would come by and take pictures of it.”

The rest of the Holmans’ backyard is a reticulated network of bird pens, planter boxes filled with corn stalks, free-roaming guinea pigs and even a boat filled with shrubbery.

The Holmans were recently crowned the town’s grand champion gardeners and best edible garden during a Great Gardens Tour organised by local conservation group, Care for Hedland, in October.

“We grow different things like different spinaches that are coming through in summer and in winter we grow different types of plants, moving from European to Asian garden which provides us all our greens,” Mr Holman, a program manager for WA not-for-profit EON Foundation, said.

“We put a platform underneath as it was hanging from the fence, about 1.5m off the ground and it’s been growing there ever since.”

The enormous vegetable is quite a bit smaller than Australia's heaviest pumpkin at 747kg and Guinness World Record for heaviest pumpkin held by Switzerland grower Beni Meier at 1054kg.

Unfortunately the behemoth tastes quite bland, and will be mainly used for seed according to Ms Holman.

“We will try grow another one bigger but we’ll probably try to dry the seeds and plant them. Save some by putting them away and keeping them safe,” she said.

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