1. Are those pumpkins real?
A: Yes, they are real. Touch them, feel them, but don’t poke them, punch them, or kick them.
2. So if they’re real, how long did it take them to grow?
A: One season. They were seeds in the spring, given a lot of care, food, water, and by God’s Grace they were allowed to grow that big.
3. Besides care and fertilizer, how can they grow that big?
A: Dills Atlantic Giant Seed is the only pumpkin seed that will grow over 400 pounds. It was developed by a man named Howard Dill in Nova Scotia, Canada.
4. How much are they?
A: Seeds can run up to $5 each, I’ve seen them at benefit auctions where they can cost as much as $500 each.
5. How do you carve them?
A: 90% of the time with a Chicago Cutlery Pairing Knife. Other tools that I use are a Chicago Boning Knife and a 12-inch blade filet knife.
6. How do you clean them out?
A: I have an old ash shovel that I modified to scoop the seeds out. It’s easier than cleaning out a regular Jack-O-Lantern. Pictures of these can be found in the Gallery section of the site.
7. How do you move them?
A: They are unloaded with forklifts, tractors, and end loaders. I also use a tripod with a chain fall and sling assembly.
8. How long do they last after you carve them?
A: Anywhere from 3 days to 2 1/2-3 weeks. Weather and growth conditions dictate how long they last.
9. What do you do with them when they start to rot?
A: I have an old handsaw that I use to cut them into chunks I can handle. Then I take them to my father-in-law’s garden for mulch.
10. How long have you been carving pumpkins like this?
A: The giants: 14 years (That when I was first able to acquire my first giant).
Regular pumpkins: 18 years.
11. What do you do with the seeds?
A: I harvest them out of the pumpkins when I carve them, then wash, dry, and give them back to the growers.
12. How big is a giant pumpkin seed?
A: As big as the end of a mans thumb, from the knuckle to the end of the finger.
13. Why do you do it?
A: For the smiles on everyone’s face.
14. How long does it take to carve them?
A: My first pumpkin took me 31 hours to carve. Now, they take me about an average of 3 hours to complete.
15. How much do the pumpkins cost?
A: $0.50 to $1.00 a pound.