PHOTO: Illinois Man Grows Biggest Pumpkin in the State, Displays it in Front of House

by Alex Falls
MediaProduction / Getty

October is here! We’re smack dab in the middle of the fall season. And there’s one thing in season Halloween lovers can’t get enough of. The humble pumpkin. The big orange squash has practically become a cultural milestone when it comes to this time of year. Stores and loaded with pumpkin spiced treats and people display their artwork proudly carved into pumpkins in the front of homes all over the country.

One of the other many Halloween traditions with pumpkins is seeing who can grow the biggest ones. Every year, farmers measure their goods from the pumpkin patches with the hope of being the biggest. Records vary from locality to locality, but this year a man from Wheaton, Illinois carved his place in history growing the biggest in the state’s history.

“I think this might be one of his biggest ever,” pumpkin admirer Kurt Reidenbach said in a piece for Wheaton’s local news.

Reidenbach saw it on display at the Illinois Giant Pumpkin Growers Association event in Minooka. While on a bike ride, the pumpkin weighing more than 1700 pounds understandably caught his eye.

The Biggest Pumpkin in the History of Illinois

It was grown by Joe Adkins who found his calling carving pumpkins and wanted to grow them himself. Now, he’s gone down in state history for his massive achievement.

“With the carving aspect, I wanted to get into bigger and bigger mediums so I decided I’d have to grow then to get to the size that I wanted to carve,” Adkins said. “1760 was enough to give us the first place this year, so we were happy.”

At its peak, Adkins says the super squash was growing 40 pounds a day and taking in 150 gallons of water every 24 hours for three months. It’s attracting quite a crowd while being displayed for all to see.

“I was kinda shocked when I saw it. I was like this is really cool here. I’m surprised they don’t have it in front of the fairgrounds,” pumpkin admirer Tracy Delph said.

“This guy always seems to have the biggest pumpkins, so he’s got some kind of secret sauce,” Reidenbach said.

“I’ve been growing since I was seven and so he has been mentoring me and he has been helping me,” said Andrew Engel, a 10-year-old grower. “I just feel like it’s cool because no other kid in my grade grows pumpkins and I feel like it’s really cool.”

A pumpkin that big could provide quite the canvas for a jack-o-lantern of massive proportions. But the record-breaking squash is already quite the spectacle on its own. Halloween is just a couple of short weeks away. So get out there and find your own pumpkin to make your own Halloween memories.