THE PLAINS, Va. – Charlie Brown might doubt the existence of “The Great Pumpkin,” but seeing may be believing.
Weighing in at 980 pounds, the Atlantic Giant variety displayed at the Corn Maze in The Plains is drawing gawkers awed by its size.
“There’s a real wow factor,” says Hub Knott, who owns the maze with his wife Kate.
The Knotts bought the huge squash from a local farmer.
“Usually when you grow them, you pick off every one but one pumpkin … to put all the energy into that to get it as big as you possibly can,” says Knott.
The monster pumpkin has been named Priscilla and is as wide as it is tall. She is a lighter orange than typical Jack-o-Lanterns.
“It’s a thinner skinned pumpkin and it’s more sensitive to cold, so every night I bring it in because if it gets frost, it could rot a lot faster,” says Knott, gesturing to a nearby tractor outfitted to lift the pallet Priscilla sits atop.
Knott says a pumpkin of this size has large seeds, but the flesh isn’t appetizing.
“It wouldn’t be a good one to eat,” he says. “The quality is kind of woody, so it wouldn’t be smooth eating.”
“They’re grown for pure size,” chips in his wife.
Knott says he’s not sure what he’ll do with the great pumpkin once the Halloween season is over.
“Somebody wants me to dynamite it, but I’d like to keep it around as long as I can,” he says.