Tony Frohloff has been growing giant pumpkins in Minden, Queensland for years.
In 2016, he entered his first Giant Pumpkin and Watermelon Festival in Kyogle.
This year, he picked his pumpkin a week ago, hoping it wouldn’t lose too much weight before the weighing in Stratheden Street, Kyogle today, Saturday, January 20.
It came in at 358.5kg and won him the winning title and first prize money of $1100.
Tony has been growing giant pumpkins since he was 10 years. It was his father, Geoff Frohloff, who got him into it.
“He set the record in the Southern Hemisphere at 200kg in 1992,” Tony said.
Years later, in 2021, Knockrow grower Dale Oliver grew a massive 867kg pumpkin.
Dale didn’t enter this year.
Today, Tony was the champ – and it was his first win.
Regular competitor John Leadbeatter came second with a 327kg pumpkin that was also used for the Guess the Weight competition.
Lilian Cox from Tweed Valley came third with her 299kg pumpkin.
She picked her pumpkin 12 days ago because the paddock was sodden with rain and she was worried she wouldn’t be able to get it to Kyogle.
“I would have been devo,” she said.
The biggest issue for Lilian was rats eating the pumpkin.
The pumpkin had carpet underneath it, and a wire cage with traps around it. Lilian used four spotlights at night to keep the rats away.
“I love doing it. I’ve never seen anything grow so fast.”
The seed she used was a patent/22-52 crossed with seeds from Dale’s 876kg winning pumpkin.
The giant watermelon comp was dominated by Tony Frohloff, his father Geoff Frohloff and John Leadbeatter.
There were prizes for junior winners and for oddly shaped vegetables, pumpkin scones and artwork.
It was all things pumpkin and watermelon in Kyogle today with hundreds enjoying the day.