Jim Moulding and his grandson Nolan Johnson (4 yrs. old) won bragging rights (along with the much-coveted “Black Pumpkin” award and $300) for growing this year’s largest pumpkin at 598 lbs.

Gardeners know that every growing season will be defined by unique circumstances.
For the Giant Pumpkin growers in Windthorst, this year brought some challenges.
Consequently, the pumpkins on display at the Windthorst Lions 10th Annual Great Pumpkin Weigh-In on Saturday, Sept. 24, were admittedly smaller than those which had been brought in the year before.
That said… this year’s largest pumpkin weighed in at a very respectable 598 lbs.
Moreover, as Bernard Steele (Windthorst & District Lions Club member AND Giant Pumpkin Grower) remarked to the crowd of close to 80 attending the event – the Giant Pumpkin competition continues to provide huge benefits for the community.
“This is our 10th year and this spring we raised $14,200 when the growers were auctioned off at our Cinco De Mayo Fiesta and Pumpkin Growers Calcutta in May. That means that the owners of the grower who brought in the biggest pumpkin this year will go home with $7,100!
“But what’s even better, is that the other $7,100 raised from this will go towards paving the outdoor multipurpose facility that’s being built here in Windthorst. That space will be there for residents to use for various sports and activities. And as one person suggested to me, it would be a perfect place to hold an outdoor dance!
“So, this is a big win for everyone!”
Jim Moulding and his grandson Nolan Johnson grew this year’s winning pumpkin. Jim says that his family has managed to take home top honours more than once since they decided to get involved in the competition.
“We started doing this three years ago. We’re from Broadview. But a friend of mine, Lorne Rygh from Kipling got me interested in it. It’s a great way to get stuff built for the community!
“It’s been a lot of fun for the grandkids too! My other grandson Zach and his mom had the biggest pumpkin last year. Now this was the first year that Nolan and I grew a pumpkin and we managed to win!”
However, Moulding says that he might let his two grandsons “take over” next year.
“I’m not sure yet what I’ll do next year.
It’s a lot of work to grow one of these. You can’t be away from it too long – or else you have to get somebody to look after it while you’re gone. And we had a late start this year with the spring that we had. We didn’t get as many growing days in as we would have liked. That meant our pumpkin didn’t get as big as the one we had last year.
“So, I’m thinking that maybe the two boys, Nolan and Zach, would like to be the pumpkin growers next year. Both of them helped out with their pumpkins this year. And they really got excited tonight!
Bert Uhrich was the grower with the very first winning pumpkin 10 years ago and says that the first year brought its share of challenges as well.
“We were just getting it started that year. I’m in the Lions Club. So, I volunteered to grow one the first year. It was a lot harder than you’d think!
“That year especially (because I think we kept on growing them a bit longer than we do now) I remember going out to cover it every night so it wouldn’t freeze. But it still got to be 209 lbs.! I thought that was pretty good for the first year!
Steele noted that this year’s competition featured several new growers and added that he hopes to see them taking up the challenge again next year.
“We had four brand new pumpkin growers that decided to give it a try this year. I want to say that I hope you all really had fun. Because come spring next year… I’ll be giving you a call!”
2022 Pumpkin Weigh-In Results:
Jim Moulding & Nolan Johnson 598 lbs. – (Buyer – Andrea Johnson)
Bernard Steele 439 lbs. – (Buyer – BLR McCarthy)
Brandon Biesenthal 229 lbs. – (Buyer – Colleen Jones)
Colleen Jones 213 lbs. – (Buyer – Norm Jones)
Wanda Reid 173 lbs. – (Buyer – Wolf Creek Farms)
Nutrient Ag. Solutions Kipling 120 lbs – (Buyer – B.S. Gang).
Windthorst Fire Department 48 lbs. – (Buyer – FBTSOP)
Chad Passup 15 lbs. – (Buyer – Dalton Biesenthal)
Peter Sweeten 3.2 lbs – (Buyer – B.S. Gang)
Zach & Andrea Johnson 597 lbs.* – (Buyer LeAnn Moulding)
(*Note – this pumpkin was damaged when it was being transported to the Weigh-in and was voluntarily removed from the competition by the growers and the buyer. However, it was weighed, and the weight added to the total for the 50/50 Draw.)
The Winner of the 50/50 draw was Theresa Beresh. Her estimated weight for all 10 pumpkins was closest to the actual weight of 2,435.2 lbs.

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