THE annual heaviest pumpkin competition at Dwellingup Pumpkin Festival at Easter is not just a battle between pumpkin growers but also a contest between father and son.
While long-time resident Geoff Warren is carefully nurturing his pumpkins in his backyard, son Robert (Rabbit) Warren (27) is rearing his at a secret location.
It is Robert’s first year in the competition, which his father helped establish 20 years ago.
Geoff reckons his pumpkin is around 70kg, with several weeks to go. A 236kg pumpkin is the heaviest in the competition over the years and the world record is around 1200kg.
But Dwellingup’s heaviest pumpkin competition has fallen off over the past few years, although the festival is always a success and Geoff hopes it is climbing back to its former popularity.
He also hopes to eventually get gourds back in the competition and has a big collection he has shaped into various items, including a dolls house he sold for $150.
The first pumpkin competition was held at Mandurah Forum in 1995.
“It was only a one-off and a mate said to me ‘let’s start one in Dwellingup’,” Geoff said – and the rest is history.
Competition categories also include the biggest watermelon and root vegetable, the tallest sunflower, the biggest sunflower head, longest zucchini and oddest shaped fruit or vegetable.
The giant pumpkins all go to a good home, with Foodbank and Gilbert’s Fruit and Veg on the waiting list.
Mr Warren said anyone who wanted to compete next year should plant their seeds around Melbourne Cup Day to have them ready by March.
The festival, on Dwellingup Primary School oval on Easter Saturday from 10am to 4pm, will also include a silent auction with more than 30 items, activities including pony rides, a circus performance and workshop and a reptile display and a range of stalls.
Competitors can just turn up on the day and no competition entry forms are required.
Entry is by gold coin.