Glenmont family grows gigantic gourd

The Great Pumpkin can be found this October at the Kresge family home in Glenmont, where a 340-pounder rests in the front yard of 18 Barrington Court.

The pumpkin is joined by a second squash, a little smaller in weight and circumference at 8 feet, 3 inches, also grown by sisters Haley and Mackenzie Kresge.

We started growing them in May, said Mackenzie.

As the days and weeks passed, the pumpkins began to grow in a small patch in the Kresges' backyard next to a stream. With a little help from their dad, Alan, who put some Miracle-Gro on the seeds and mulch, the pumpkins continued to swell in cold, wet, warm and windy weather, right up until last week when they were moved from the pumpkin patch to the front of the house for display.

"We came back here every day," said Alan Kresge.

When friends came over to see Haley and Mackenzie, the pumpkins were the topic of conversation.

"The girls would bring their friends over, and every time someone came over they would say, 'Do you want to see our pumpkins?'" said their mother, Mary Ann Kresge.

The seeds were purchased for $1 each, and Alan Kresge said this is only the beginning of the family's pumpkin growing career.

"My goal is to grow a 1,000-pound pumpkin and to have the girls enter it in a pumpkin contest," said Alan Kresge, who also grows jalapeNo peppers.

The seeds from the current patch of pumpkins will be given away to friends and neighbors to see how well they can grow their own pumpkins next year.

The pumpkins may even make an appearance at Elsmere School, where Haley and Mackenzie attend classes, for the Elsmere Happenings event.

Weighing pumpkins can be challenging because of their size.

"Obviously we couldn't pick them up and weigh them," said Haley Kresge.

Instead, the Kresges used a little geometry and algebra by finding the circumference of the pumpkin and then its height over the top and from the bottom up. The final calculations give a rough estimate of what the pumpkin weighs.

Now that the Kresges have a 340-pound pumpkin in their yard, what are they going to do with it?

"I like pumpkin pie," proclaimed Mackenzie.

"I like pumpkin bread," said Haley. "It's not that bad."

The largest pumpkin in New York was grown by Dan and Jason McKie of Gasport, weighing in at 1,412 pounds.""

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