British Columbia

'Look at the abs on that thing': Giant pumpkin 'a beauty' at B.C. competition

'This man loves his pumpkins,' says friend of gardener.

'This man loves his pumpkins,' says friend of gardener

Grawp the 1,176-pound pumpkin became somewhat of a celebrity in Jeff Pelletier's North Vancouver neighbourhood this summer. On Saturday, people came to see the gourd off before a pumpkin-weighing contest. (Doug Kerr/CBC)

Everyone, meet Grawp. 

He's a pumpkin that comes up to your hips and weighs more than a grand piano.

Grawp also grows well with classical music, manure-fused dirt and encouragement from his fan club.

Jeff Pelletier planted the gourd in his North Vancouver garden last spring. Over the weekend, he entered B.C.'s Giant Pumpkin Competition — an official, "world-renowned" pumpkin weigh-off. 

"He's affectionately called Grawp after the giant in Harry Potter," Pelletier said.

On Saturday, the gardener hosted a pre-game party before driving to the Langley weigh-in. Family, friends and neighbours brought orange "Go Grawp" flags and posed for pictures in the garden. 

Pelletier's guests brought tiny "Go Grawp" flags to the garden party. (Doug Kerr/CBC)

"This man loves his pumpkins — Jeff was shining up his pumpkin like it was his first car," said friend Steven Beattie.

"Just look at the abs on that thing," he added, giving Grawp a pat. "What a beauty."

Pelletier, in the pumpkin-coloured vest, planted Grawp in May. Beattie, left, came to see him off on Saturday morning. (Doug Kerr/CBC)

Pelletier said Grawp was grown for more than 100 days on "good soil and good music."

"He loves Shostakovich, I'll tell you that much."

Jeff Pelletier and Grawp in their last moments together before the pumpkin stem was snipped. (Doug Kerr/CBC)

To get to the contest, the gourd had to be loaded into a special pumpkin lifting ring and swung onto a flat-bed truck — a process that, fortunately, didn't end with pumpkin splattered all over the driveway.

"That's always nerve-wracking," Pelletier said after it was over.

A pumpkin lifting ring stops the gourd from rolling around as it's being lifted. (Doug Kerr/CBC)

Runner-up

In the end, Grawp took home silver with an official weight of 1,176 pounds — second only to a 1,543-pound whopper that broke B.C.'s pumpkin record.​

Pelletier said second place was "fantastic," but he was a bit blue to see the pumpkin go.

"Tomorrow, I'll come out and look at the patch and it will be gone and there's always a little bit of sadness," he said.

That said, there's always next year.

With files from Deborah Goble

now