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The great pumpkin grows in Alton


Father-daughter team grow award-winning pumpkin


by Tim Croes
Staff Writer - The Baysider

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THE FATHER-DAUGHTER PAIR of Steve and Lindsey Ellis proudly sit on the bed of their truck with their award-winning 1,386-pound pumpkin Courtesy photo. (click for larger version)
October 03, 2012
ALTON — Some fathers and daughters might form a bond by doing a sport together, but the bond for Steve and Lindsey Ellis is pumpkins.

One pumpkin, actually, and it turned out to grow to an impressive weight of 1,386 pounds.

Steve Ellis did some research and ended up acquiring a seed from a pumpkin from Oregon that grew to about 1,300 pounds.

He germinated the seed on April 29, pollinated it on July 2, and by May 6 it was in the greenhouse.

Steve and his daughter worked together and they harvested the pumpkin from their house in Alton this past Thursday and took it to the Deerfield Fair.

Their pumpkin weighed in at 1,386 pounds and captured second place at the fair, which included a $400 cash prize.

Ellis actually sold the pumpkin to a restaurant owner in New York that uses big pumpkins to draw people into his business.

For Ellis and his daughter, this was their first attempt at growing an award-winning pumpkin and surely won't be his last.

Ellis is a member of the New Hampshire Giant Pumpkin Growers Association and the Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Growers Association and did a lot of research online.

Ellis has a chance to win Rookie of the Year, but isn't sure about that. One thing is for sure though, he is going to attempt to grow a bigger pumpkin next year.

"I am going to the Topsfield Fair next year," Ellis said. "I am stepping up my game."

Steve has used the resources from growers all over the country and he personally knows Ron Wallace, who recently shattered the world record with an impressive 2,009-pound pumpkin. Funny thing is, Wallace may break his own record at a fair down in Rhode Island this weekend with another entry.

For Steve, the bonding between his daughter and himself is something they will never forget.

"She has been right with me every step of the way," Steve added about his daughter Lindsey's dedication.

Steve thinks that this year's weather had a factor with it being a very dry summer, and he was lucky to avoid frost late in the season.

"Frost kills a pumpkin patch," Steve added.

He is hoping for an even bigger pumpkin for next year and has already secured a seed that he hopes will grow to an even bigger size than his entry at this year's Deerfield Fair.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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