A Napa pumpkin grower won the day at the annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh Off on Monday in Half Moon Bay, with a gourd weighing in at 2,175 pounds — a new California record.
51-year-old Leonardo Urena snagged the $15,000 prize, as the Associated Press reports, after previously winning the pumpkin weigh off in 2011. Urena says he took up the gigantic pumpkin-growing hobby 19 years ago, in 2000.
"It’s difficult. It’s nothing easy," says Urena to the Chronicle, regarding his "sport." "If you are in this sport, it’s because you like it and your family supports you." Urena says he would sacrifice sleep some nights this past summer in order to use his non-working hours to fertilize and water this giant beast.
From this year's Half Moon Bay pumpkin weigh-off:https://t.co/p2Kb5fJwbT— Alejandro Serrano (@serrano_alej) October 14, 2019
This is, alas, not the biggest pumpkin ever to show up at this contest, but it is the second biggest. The most monstrous pumpkin ever to win the grand prize at the Half Moon Bay event was a Washington-grown specimen in 2017 that weighed nearly 2,400 pounds.
Half Moon Bay, with its multiple pumpkin patches, has declared itself the World Pumpkin Capital, though they'd probably get some argument there. For instance, Morton, Illinois also calls itself that, and so does Floydada, Texas.
In any event, it's officially decorative gourd season, motherfuckers! So feel free to revisit Colin Nissan's 2009 classic piece from McSweeney's, because "Guess what season it is — fucking fall. There’s a nip in the air and my house is full of mutant fucking squash."
Photo courtesy of Half Moon Bay Brewing Co./Instagram