Hoping for another champion
Parks will be host of a world championship pumpkin weigh-off.
CANFIELD -- Peter, Peter pumpkin eater. Had a wife and couldn't keep her. Put her in a pumpkin shell and there he kept her very well.
If Peter had Parks Garden Center's pumpkin last year, his wife would have had very spacious accommodations. The owners of the garden center here, one of 22 official weigh-in sites in North America for the giant pumpkin world championship, are hopeful that the world's largest pumpkin will tip the scale there again this year.
The world's largest pumpkin last year, a 1,140-pound monster grown by Dave Stelts of Leetonia, weighed in beside giant pumpkins from throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and West Virginia.
The center is the only official weigh-in site in Ohio, said Tim Parks, whose family owns the garden center. The next nearest weigh-in sites are in Altoona, Pa., and some 200 miles to the west.
The chances this year's winner is growing in an area pumpkin patch is good, Parks said.
Premier club: "The Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers Association based here is one of the premier giant pumpkin clubs in North America," he said. Pumpkin patch tours in July attract pumpkin enthusiasts from "all over North America. This is a real good group of growers."
The association was formed five or six years ago by Parks, Dick Baird of Canfield, Ron Moffett of Salem, Jack Lanterman of Greenford and Alan Gibson of Winona. Today, the club has eight directors and 235 members.
Most of the giant pumpkins on display at the fair are grown by club members, Parks added.
The organization offers field days and educational seminars, including a free seminar in February open to anyone interested in growing giant pumpkins.
The World Championship Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off, also free and open to the public, will be at Parks Garden Center on Oct. 6. For more information, call Parks at (330) 533-7278.