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By Neville Passmore

Robert Giumelli was crowned this years top grower of Atlantic giant pumpkins at the Dwellingup Primary School Country Fair on Easter Saturday. Weighing in at 208.3 kg Robert's entry put a good deal of strain on the fork lift used to separate the large from the gigantic fruits.

When asked for his formula Robert mentioned 1 tonne of sheep manure, NPK Blue fertiliser, fish emulsion and that he did occasionally lie down beside the emerging fruit. The largest ever in the annual competition weighed 285 kilos. Robert won the ribbon in 2010 and again in 2011. First Prize was a $500 cheque from C-Wise who have supported the competition for 15 years.

Second prize went to Bunbury Regional Prison for a 131kg entry. This prison escapee will head back behind bars where its destined to make up a large quantity of pumpkin soup. Looks like this will be on the menu for a few weeks.

Great crowds attended the weather perfect fair resulting in the Parents and Citizens Association being able to contribute over $9000 to the school up by $1000 from last year. The Fair is the only fund raiser for the year for the P and C so good weather is pretty significant. What a great example of a country fair the event had a real community feel with lots of smiles all around and oddball purchasing opportunities to excite any fossicker worth their salt.

Other competitions judged on the day included the tallest sunflower(3.27 metres), the gumboot toss (37 metres), pumpkin rolling (50 metres) the kids creative vegetable carving competition. Billed as the feature event of the day after the giant Pumpkin growing competition was the pumpkin seed spitting event. A new record was achieved with slender seeds flying 9.1metres through the air - wow!

The ideal date for planting seeds of the giant pumpkins or for that matter any pumpkin is Melbourne cup day. I would always recommend planting before the hour of the race so celebrations don't interfere.

You can get into the growing business for next years event by purchasing seed through the P and C. This years winner Robert Giumelli has taken his winning entry home to extract seed. These will be made available at a cost of $5 for 20 soon through the P and C association contact Renae Armstrong on 95381168.


Robert's winning entry



The awesome lineup of competitors