Washington

Washington state teacher takes top prize in giant pumpkin contest

In this Oct. 8, 2016 photo provided by Ron Wallace, Richard and Catherine Wallace stand with a 2,261.5-pound pumpkin that Richard grew to set the North American giant pumpkin record at the Frerichs Farm Pumpkin Weigh Off in Warren, R.I. Richard Wallace’s pumpkin beat the record set by his son, Ron, at the same event last year.
In this Oct. 8, 2016 photo provided by Ron Wallace, Richard and Catherine Wallace stand with a 2,261.5-pound pumpkin that Richard grew to set the North American giant pumpkin record at the Frerichs Farm Pumpkin Weigh Off in Warren, R.I. Richard Wallace’s pumpkin beat the record set by his son, Ron, at the same event last year. AP

A third-grade teacher from Little Rock, Washington, won an annual pumpkin-weighing contest in Northern California Monday, Oct. 11, with a giant one weighing 1,910 pounds.

Cindy Tobeck, 42, said her pumpkin grew steadily since she planted it in April, spending much of that time in a greenhouse with heated soil. She said the secret to growing giant pumpkins is using the right seed.

Hers came from a 2,230-pound pumpkin that won a Washington state contest last year.

Timothy Beeman, a spokesman for the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, said Tobeck beat out more than two dozen other pumpkins from Oregon, Washington and California. The runner-up weighed 1,723 pounds. Tobeck was shy of the contest record by about 150 pounds.

At $6 a pound, Tobeck will receive nearly $11,500 in prize money.

Tobeck’s great pumpkin, however, falls short of the U.S. record set over the weekend by a Rhose Island man who squashed a record set by his son.

Richard Wallace’s 2,261.5-pound pumpkin beat the North American giant pumpkin record set by his son, Ron, at the same event last year. Ron Wallace’s pumpkin topped the scales at 2,230 pounds at the Frerichs Farm Pumpkin Weigh Off in Warren in 2015.

Ron Wallace was the first person in the world to break the 1-ton barrier when he grew a 2,009-pound pumpkin in 2012.

On Sunday, the Giant Pumpkin European Championship was held in Ludwigsburg, Germany, and a pumpkin weighing about 2,623 pounds took home the award for the heaviest.

The California contest had offered a special $30,000 mega prize to anyone who could beat the world record.

  Comments