Local in search of the great pumpkin

A local mechanic is growing some pretty big pumpkins in his front yard.

Jim Hartley shows off the biggest one of his remaining pumpkins. Hartley started growing them in March and has three left out of almost 300.

Halloween is coming early to at least one Grand Fork residence. At the house of local mechanic Jim Hartley, he’s already got a Jack O’Lantern pumpkin out on the deck.

Hartley has been busy growing some very large pumpkins after getting into a contest (for $5) with a couple of buddies—although those buddies have long since conceded soon after Hartley’s pumpkins passed the 50-pound mark.

Hartley has lived in Grand Forks for four years after moving here to take care of his parents. He has been growing pumpkins for seven years.

“The first year, the first pumpkin was about the size of a plum,” he admitted. “(I spent) 7$ on seed and $100 on dirt and it was that small.”

Last year, Hartley’s top pumpkin was up to 85 pounds. When he has finished growing the pumpkins he takes them to Boundary Lodge where the residents have a “guess the weight” contest.

“They really look forward to it,” he said.

This year he also plans to take one (of the three left) to Silver Kettle where his dad resides.

“I take a razor blade and carve my grandchildren’s names into the pumpkin so they grow a big scar with their names on it,” he said.

Hartley is hoping to break 100 pounds this year. “I think I’m going to do better than that this year,” he said.

He started the pumpkins as seedlings in the house in March. He has removed 240 pumpkins from his patch to concentrate on four large ones he is growing.

Hartley’s keys to growing big pumpkins are having really good dirt and using chicken manure.

“Pumpkins like a real hot dirt,” he said. “They’re dirty eaters. The richer the soil, the more they like it.”

He has not entered any contests with his pumpkins but is looking at entering the Rock Creek Fall Fair pumpkin contest this year.

“I was there last year and my pumpkin was bigger than the one that won the competition and it was only 85 pounds,” he said.

Another highlight of the pumpkin growing for Hartley was having his grandchildren come in from Ontario for a visit recently and to help carve and decorate one of the pumpkins.

“I have a Jack O’Lantern on my deck in the middle of August,” said Hartley.

Just Posted

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

RED resort announces new ski lift

Topping lift will add new ski area to resort, reduce bottleneck on Motherload chair

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

Kim Johnson retires from rec department

Johnson had worked at Grand Forks Recreation Department for 25 years

COLUMN: 2018 second-largest on record for food bank

Boundary Community Food Bank added 109 new clients last year

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Most Read