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Haskell Gardener Shows Off A Big Pumpkin

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Haskell gardener Pat Benner is understandably proud of the big pumpkin he grew this year. Haskell gardener Pat Benner is understandably proud of the big pumpkin he grew this year.
The pumpkin made up a trip to The News On 6 in Tulsa and is going to Missouri for an official weigh in. The pumpkin made up a trip to The News On 6 in Tulsa and is going to Missouri for an official weigh in.
Helpful neighbors and a pully system helped get the pumpkin loaded on a truck. Helpful neighbors and a pully system helped get the pumpkin loaded on a truck.

By Rick Wells, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Pat Benner loaded his enormous pumpkin into the back of his pickup truck and drove it up from Haskell to show it off. And he should be showing off a little: it's the biggest pumpkin most of us have ever seen.

News On 6 photojournalist Ty Lewis got out his cell phone to take a picture - biggest pumpkin he'd ever seen, he said.

Back in August we went to Haskell to see the pumpkin growing in Benner's garden. He said the project was fun but a lot of work.

8/18/2009  Related Story: Haskell Man Growing 600-Pound Pumpkin For Competition

"It's something you gotta work on everyday -do something in the patch every day," said gardener Pat Benner, "like having kids."

He had hoped to leave it in the garden longer but the vine began to die so he had to harvest it. Getting several hundred pounds of pumpkin into the back of a truck's a chore.

"You have three 16-ft. 4X 4s," Benner explained.

He sent The News On 6 pictures to show how he did it. He got a tri-pod thing up, then rigged up a chain and a pulley system to lift it off the ground.

He's driving it around hoping to get folks interested in growing big pumpkins - really, he says, this one's not that big.

"The biggest one this year is out of Pennsylvania, 1557 pounds," Benner said. "So it's two and a half times what this one is."

With that he's back in the truck to do some more showing off. We wish him good luck at the weigh in.

One more thing, these big pumpkins are not good to eat - they're grown for size.

The big pumpkin weigh-off is Saturday morning in Republic, Missouri, at the Pumpkin Daze Festival. 

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