Arizona Giant Pumpkin Growers

Arizona Giant Vegetable Records

If you have a documented record we can add to our page, please contact us at GrowEmBig at AZGPG.com



Arizona Record Heaviest Pumpkin
486 lbs
Dean Baker, Scottsdale Arizona
May 30, 2015

Arizona's giant pumpkin record is a 486 pound fruit grown by  Dean Baker of Scottsdale. The 486 Baker 2015 (1513 Sherwood 2014 X 1622 Young 2009) was the winner of the 1st Annual AZGPG Spring Harvest Festival held May 30, 2015 at  Harper's Landscape & Garden Centre in Scottsdale.  Baker's pumpkin beat the old standard, which had stood for eight years, by 17 pounds.

The winning pumpkin was germinated on December 24, 2014 and then transplanted into the patch on January 5, 2015.  Central Arizona growers plant their pumpkins early in the year to avoid the excessive heat that causes the plants to shut down during the hot, summer months.

The plant was grown in a 450 square foot patch, which led to some problems with the secondary vines. 

The fruit eventually measured 2.5 percent light on the Team-Pumpkin OTT charts.  It was noted that all the Arizona plants weighed slightly lighter than the charts.  The 486 Baker's final OTT measurement was 282.5  (Circumference: 136;  Blossom to Stem: 71.25;  Side to Side: 74.25).



Arizona Record Heaviest Squash
313.5 lbs
Dean Baker, Scottsdale Arizona
May 27,2017

There may be those who are unsure whether Dean Baker has a green thumb, but he has proven he can grow a "greenie".  Baker produced Arizona's first competitive giant squash --  with no trace of disqualifying orange color -- for the 3rd annual AZGPG Spring Harvest Festival on May 27, 2017.  His Arizona State Record entry weighed 313.5 pounds.  The fruit was grown from a 1421.5 Jutras 2014 seed.
 
Baker germinated his plant on Christmas Day 2016, then transplanted it into his patch on January 10, 2017.  Valley temperatures are at their lowest at this time, therefore the plants are placed inside a 12x20 high tunnel covered by greenhouse plastic.  A second 6x9 low tunnel, inside the outer tunnel, is covered by heavy frost cloth to help keep the plants from freezing.
 
Female flowers appeared in early March and the squash was pollinated on March 15 - providing Dean with 72 days to grow his giant. 

While some people may believe Baker is out of his gourd in fussing and pampering over his squash and pumpkins -- he’s actually is trying to recreate the success he has seen in other parts of the United States. Dean has attended Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) conventions; and visited weigh-offs in Colorado (Jared's), Massachusetts (Topsfield Fair), and Rhode Island (Frerichs Farm) trying to learn from experienced growers.

Dean plans to continue to grow both giant pumpkins and squash in an effort to get both state records over 500 pounds.



Arizona Record Heaviest Chile
10.23 oz
Arizona Record Longest Chile
10.25 in
Edward Curry, Pearce Arizona
November 6, 2009

The World Record -- until recently -- for growing the heaviest chile, and longest chile, according to The Guinness World Record was held by Edward Curry of Pearce, Arizona.  The Guinness people stated:

"The heaviest pepper weighs 0.29 kg (0.63 lb), grown by Edward Curry (USA) at Curry Farms in Pearce, Arizona, United States, and measured on 6 November 2009. The green chili pepper measured 26.03 cm (10.25 in) long and 9.52 cm (3.75 in) wide and was weighed on a CAS SW Series Portion Control Scale Legal For Trade."

Now, without getting into the whole discussion -- yet -- of whether chile is spelled "chile", "chili", or "chilli"; we have to report that Curry's record is now the North American record for growing the heaviest chile and the longest chile.  (New World Records were set in September 2017 by Kevin Fortey and Ian Neale - both in England).

Ed Curry was put to work on the family farm at an early age.  Growing up in Southeastern Arizona, between the Dragoon Mountains and the Chiricahua Mountains, Curry developed an appreciation for the chile peppers that his dad grew while working the fields.

  Curry has spent years carefully selecting and breeding pepper plants to develop specific characteristics, such as a standardized heat level and greater drought tolerance, so he can create new and better varieties of peppers.  His innovations have led to large canneries and food companies, like Buena Foods, almost exclusively using his seeds on their farms. New Mexico, which proudly touts and markets its red and green chiles as the nation’s best, almost exclusively uses his seeds. Even internationally, in countries like South Africa and Israel, Curry has developed a loyal group of farmers dedicated to his product.

“There’s maybe one or two pepper canners in the world that don’t use our seed. If you go to the store and buy a can of chile, there is a 90 percent chance the seed comes from us,” says Curry.

Now about how to spell chile.  There are many accepted versions—and the dictionary lists these three—but the term "chile" with an "e" is considered the correct way to spell it according to die hard chile fans ... and residents of Arizona and New Mexico. They believe "chili" only refers to the meat dish while "chile" is the pepper. Then, there is the third version, "chilli," which is the preferred spelling in Britain, as well as Australia, Singapore, India, and South Africa - just to name a few.

We're in Arizona, so, we're trying to set a new world record "Chile" record.
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