Pumpkin pride of Prudence bound for weigh-off


Hope springs eternal on the pumpkin patch and Prudence Island's Ed Giarrusso is optimistic that his 1,300-plus pound monster will stay healthy and keep packing on the pounds until Saturday's Warren weigh-off.

It's not as big as the 1,422-pounder he scored sixth with last year but that may not matter.

"I've heard that some of the biggest competitors have had a tough summer — lost their biggest pumpkins," Mr. Giarrusso said.

"It was way too wet for awhile," then hot and humid with not enough sun, he said. "Just not the best for growing."

He credits hard work and good luck for the fact that some of his big pumpkins kept gaining weight.

Ron Wallace of Greene, RI, who made headlines last October with a world record 2,009-pounder won't be there. "That changes things too — he always does well."

Mr. Giarrusso helped the cause this year by installing a 55-gallon drum with a pump system that enables him to mix and spray the rich blend of feed and fertilizer in a less back-breaking way. He says he added a touch more cow and chicken manure this year but otherwise the blend was about as usual.

His second best effort this season, an 1,100-pounder, went to the Topsfield Fair. He grew that one with seeds from last year's 1,422-pound pumpkin.

A seed shared by Mr. Wallace produced the pumpkin that Mr. Giarrusso will enter in Warren.

He said he will pick the pumpkin Friday, load it carefully into his pickup truck with lots of help, and then bring it over on the Saturday morning ferry.

"At this point you can just hope for the best … A lot of work goes into these things and a lot can happen."


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.