In Galloway, on the outskirts of Flemington, Jeremy Biller grows supersized pumpkins.
“It’s basically the type of seed used,” said Biller about the Atlantic Giant variety he has grown annually for the past five years or so.
Weighing in at 1,000 pounds, one of this year’s prize pumpkins was recently on the road and gained its share of attention. Before taking it to The Wild and Wonderful Weigh-Off in Craigsville, WV, Biller made a couple of local stops.
“I loaded it early so I could stop by my son Rett’s school, Heritage Christian, and Sonda (Williams) asked me to stop by Miss Lucy’s Childcare Center, too,” Biller said.
The giant pumpkin arrived at Miss Lucy’s Friday morning and the children there were amazed, Williams said.
On Saturday morning, Biller and his Atlantic Giant traveled south to Nicholas County for the state’s first pumpkin weigh-off, hosted by the Mountain State Giant Growers.
“I placed 10th. The biggest pumpkin there weighed 2,162 pounds, I believe,” he said.
It was a fun experience and one which Biller plans to participate in annually. Traveling with a 1,000-pound pumpkin in the back of his Ford F150.
“About every single vehicle we passed, people had their phones out taking pictures,” he said.
Biller grows the big pumpkins right in his yard. He has found that it is more profitable – and more fun – than growing traditional-sized pumpkins.
“I used to grow regular pumpkins on my farm, but there’s not a lot of money in it plus the deer and bear normally get to them,” he said. “So, I decided to grow the giants at the house, so I could keep an eye on them.”
The one he took to the weigh-off isn’t the biggest pumpkin in his yard.
“But it isn’t ready yet, so it will go to TJ’s Greenhouse in Weston,” Biller said. “That’s where I usually take my pumpkins. They display a few giant pumpkins every year. Kids come to get their pictures taken with them and the schools bring kids over.”
It’s exciting each year to see how big the pumpkins are going to grow. Four-year-old Rett especially loves it.
Biller is an insurance agent at Goff Insurance in Bridgeport.