Good soil + timely rain = 801-pound pumpkin

Mike Nepereny tried growing large pumpkins when he lived in Georgia, but a move to the fertile soil of Piatt County three years ago got him a 122-pound increase in his personal record.

The new mark is an Atlantic Giant he picked on Sept. 22 that weighed in at 801 lbs.

“The soil down there (in Georgia) is nothing like it is here, so that’s probably the reason for the jump in weight. That and more rain this year,” said Nepereny, who sells pumpkins at the Windmill Pumpkin Farm at 957 North, 300 E Road northwest of Milmine.

The high quality ground also makes pumpkin growing pretty high maintenance.

“You’ve got to try to limit vine growth, and that’s real hard here because the soil is so fertile, the vines go all over the place,” he said, noting “I’m out there with scissors every day.”

He is able to work his job as a software designer from home, enabling him to tend to the pumpkins, which also include a 700-pound one this fall.

Windmill Pumpkin Farm has about one acre of pumpkins, which are picked and brought under cover for people to buy. They are open 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.


 

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