Tazewell Co. family grows 1000 lb. pumpkin on their first try

This is just one of eight giant pumpkins the family grew this year
Published: Aug. 27, 2023 at 7:38 PM EDT
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BANDY, Va. (WVVA) -Fall is right around the corner, bringing with it the tradition of picking out a pumpkin for jack o’ lanterns and pies. But one Tazewell County family grew some pumpkins a little bigger than ones you’re likely to see in a supermarket.

If you drive by the Hidden Springs Farm in Tazewell County, you may be surprised by some of the produce being grown there. These eight giant pumpkins were grown by the Edwards family. Despite their success with these eight great gourds, the family say they’re not giant pumpkin experts. This is actually their first-time growing pumpkins of this magnitude.

“We took the boys to Dollywood last year, and they seen the giant display, and they were amazed by it, and I was amazed by it,” says Priscilla Edwards.

Inspired by their Dollywood trip, the Edwards began growing giants inside their house in April. But it wasn’t a one-person job; the whole family was involved, with even the younger members working hard on their new project.

“We had to not let them get too cold, and we got to cover them, and then we have to cut off some of the other pumpkins too,” says Caden Edwards.

Cutting off the other pumpkins lets just one fruit get all the nutrients, making it grow even bigger.

The family’s biggest pumpkin is named Godzilla after the classic monster from Japanese cinema. It’s around half a ton, and it’s still gaining, putting on close to forty pounds a day. In total, the Edwards have eight pumpkins of different (but still giant) sizes. However, when they first started this project, they had no idea they would be so successful.

Priscilla Edwards says, “I was told that it’s best to be safe than sorry because they’re hard, they blow open, they get root rot, they get diseases, and so I was like, ‘I better plant a lot, so I can at least get three pumpkins, at least.’ Well, they all did fine.”

The Edwards family hope to enter these pumpkins in multiple contests, including the Blue Ridge Giant Pumpkins Growers Association.

They also plan to continue growing giants in the future and hopefully be able to one day feature their pumpkins in the display at Dollywood that initially inspired them to start their giant pumpkin journey.

Priscilla Edwards encourages other people to consider growing pumpkins themselves. She says you can see the full process on how they got started as well as some of the things they fed their pumpkins (including seaweed) on their Hidden Springs Farm Facebook page.