Land of the Giants!

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As fall quickly approaches, the town of Robbinsville has been overtaken by giant pumpkins thanks to the generosity of former County Extension Director, Raymond Norton.

As a retired Extension Director and commercial boxwood producer in Graham County, Raymond loves to grow things, especially lots of garden vegetables he shares with family and friends throughout the county. This year, Raymond has generously donated his giant pumpkins to various businesses throughout the county in order to promote a county-wide pumpkin contest.

The contest, now in its second year, allows folks to go from business to business and guess the weight of each pumpkin, with the person guessing closest to the actual weight, winning a prize. Each business sponsors its own specific prize. The businesses participating this year are as follows:

  • Farm Bureau Insurance
  • N.C. Cooperative Extension
  • United Community Bank
  • First Citizens Bank
  • The Graham Star
  • Ford’s Auto Parts
  • Sweetwater Farm & Garden

Raymond feels that the contest is good for the community and hopes interest in the contest will grow. “I would love to see the county sponsor a prize for the individual who can grow the largest pumpkin in years to come. This would get people involved in something fun and would get our minds off some of the negative things that are going on right now.”

Not every pumpkin is destined to become a giant. While there are a handful of varieties capable of producing giant pumpkins, Raymond prefers to use the variety marketed as “Dills Atlantic Giant.”  This pumpkin is commercially available and has the ability to produce fruit that weigh 100 – 300 pounds on average; although pumpkins much larger have been produced.

So, if you’re interested in breaking the monotony of day-to-day life, or you just want to have a little fun, drop by these businesses and make a guess. You might just be a big winner!

Finally, anyone interested in learning how to grow their own giant pumpkin can contact N.C. Cooperative Extension in Graham County at (828) 479-7979. We’d be happy to give you some instructions, or just chat for a while about pumpkins.

Three men with giant pumpkins loaded on truck