Red Deer kids grow massive pumpkins

Eight-year-old grows 61-pound pumpkin in Red Deer backyard

Lily Ramage beamed as she looked over her masterpiece.

After all, what she nurtured had been almost five months in the making, a feat-of-waiting anyone could be proud of.

The eight-year-old, along with her friend Carter Villeneuve, grew hefty pumpkins in her Red Deer backyard this summer, with a little bit of help from their parents.

Lily’s pumpkin weighs in at around 61 pounds and is about five feet in circumference, while Villeneuve’s came in at around 45 pounds.

“First time growing anything, but I was excited when my dad said we were going to grow a pumpkin,” Lily said Tuesday.

It took a bit of a parental nudge to get them interested in the project initially, but since then, Lily’s thrown herself at the project with all the youthful energy she can muster.

She started with just a seed in May, wrapped it in a wet paper towel, before later transferring it into a cup.

Once it produced vines, it went into the backyard, and they hand-pollinated the female flower with the male to make a pair of pumpkins.

That’s when a family friend offered a secret ingredient to encourage growth. The pumpkins took off from there. Lily still won’t give up the secret.

“My favourite part was feeding it the secret,” she said.

Lily and Carter plan to harvest the seeds from their pumpkin sometime soon, as it looks like they’ve stopped growing. For now, they plan on carving them out for Halloween.

As for growing pumpkins again, Lily isn’t sure if she’ll take another crack at growing a bigger one next year.

“Maybe,” she said, with a bright smile.

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