Pumpkin farmer 102920

Sammamish Valley farmers show off their giant pumpkins prior to the weigh-in at Tonnemaker Farm on Thursday, Oct. 22.

The first annual Sammamish Valley giant pumpkin weigh-in resulted in an easy victory for farmer Andrew Ely’s 382-pound Atlantic Giant at Tonnemaker Farm on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Marshall Leroy, owner of Alki Farms, coordinated the friendly competition between Sammamish Valley farmers in May. This year’s winner earned a six-pack of beer, although Leroy plans to create more regulations and get money involved next year, he said.

“We are hoping that we can make this into a Sammamish Valley tradition and turn it into some kind of charity event in future years,” Leroy said.

Ely said he started growing his pumpkin last year in a giant mound of horse manure at Eunomia Farm in Woodinville. His winning pumpkin, Slugboat, was named after its popularity among slugs while growing. Leroy said he predicts Slugboat reached a Valley record in weight, at least for this year. 

The farmers at Sound Vegetables in Redmond weighed two pumpkins in at 153 and 147 pounds. Owner of the farm Erik Goheen said he purchased Big Max pumpkin seeds from McLendon Hardware this year and also used the horse manure technique. 

Goheen suggested the following year’s contest feature pumpkins all grown from the same seeds. Leroy said he plans to open up the competition to more farmers next year.

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