Great pumpkins! Grower wins trifecta of giant food titles
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A Rhode Island grower is first in the world to get three wins in the hobby of growing huge foods. The three wins are world records. He won for heaviest pumpkin. He won for longest long gourd. And he won for heaviest squash.
Joe Jutras previously broke two records. Now Joe got his third. He got it last weekend. He smashed the giant squash record. It weighed more than a ton. His green squash tipped the scales. It weighed 2,118 pounds. This was at Frerichs Farm. It is in Warren.
His other titles came in 2006. That is when he broke the record for longest gourd. It was a 126.5-inch gourd.
In 2007 he broke the record for largest pumpkin. It weighed in at 1,689 pounds.
Both previous records have since fallen. But Jutras is the only grower so far to break world records in the three most competitive categories.
"It feels great," Jutras said Monday. "It's really been a goal of mine to try to achieve this."
Jutras has been working on the three wins for a decade. He was close to the goal a few years ago. But then a squash on track to break the record split.
Jutras is now 62. He recently retired. He was a high-end cabinet maker.
Jutras noted that others had won multiple world records for fruits and vegetables before. But they won in categories such as carrots. Those are not as competitive.
He credits a new soil cultivation technique for this year's win. And also a seed from last year's world record breaker.
Ron Wallace is a multi-time pumpkin record breaker. He called Jutras' feat "unbelievable."
He said Jutras' effort showed the best of the hobby. "It's about people competing and pushing the boundaries," he said.
Jutras said his fruit is headed to New York City. It will be on display this month. It will be at the New York Botanical Garden.
He'll get a coveted "green jacket.” It is in honor of his squash record. He will get it in February. It will be given to him at the annual convention in Oregon of the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth. It is said to be the NFL of giant fruit and vegetable growing.
He was asked what he plans to do next. He said he's been thinking about the bushel gourd.
"I think the record now is about 279 pounds," Jutras said. "That might be something I might want to get into a bit."