Growing pumpkins is very big business

November 13, 1991|By Knight-Ridder

Most of us think of pumpkins for a very short time each year. It happens when Halloween calls for a jack-o'-lantern and Thanksgiving calls for pie.

But the same is not true of Bill Garvey.

Some people use their spare time running marathons. Some rebuild car engines or renovate their homes.

Garvey grows pumpkins. Big ones.

For the last three years, he has won the Michigan State Fair competition for largest pumpkin. This year his winner weighed 442 pounds.

But more important than the state fair win, Garvey will remember 1991 as the year he broke 500 pounds.

Every year, the World Pumpkin Confederation, based in Collins, N.Y., certifies 22 weigh stations around the world to hold weigh-ins on Columbus Day. Because there isn't a weigh station in Michigan, Garvey goes to Elk Grove, Ill., a suburb of Chicago.

That's where he broke 500 pounds with a 545-pound Atlantic Giant.

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