It’s not uncommon for Roy Becker to find a nine-kilogram gourd in his garden, but this year that record has been squashed.
The Penticton resident was shocked after the seeds he planted produced a 30-kg squash on a 12-metre vine that snaked around his yard. A 3-kg squash also grew on that same vine.
“That’s what I don’t understand – they were on the same vine,” he said. “It was all I could do to lift (them)!”
He said he left the squash for a month, and after it sat at a steady 30 kg, he knew it was time to harvest.
Becker has been gardening for years as a hobby now that he’s retired from the military.
It’s not uncommon for Becker each year to harvest approximately 14 butternut squashes, eight buttercup squashes and a few of the monster-squash variety, which topped out at nine kg in the past.
“I took one out to the experimental farm, and it was (the same) colour …. They cut it up and looked at it, and said, ‘We have no idea what kind of squash this is.’”
Becker believes cross-pollination of seeds over the years has produced the red-orange gourd, which has taken a unique oblong shape.
But Becker’s secret for producing such giants will remain just that.
“I like experimenting with different types of plants,” he allowed. “I’ll be saving the seeds out of this.”
Becker’s unsure of what to do with the behemoth now, but may cook with it.
“I make a squash-curry-pear soup and it’s delicious. That’s why I grow the squash,” he added.
He’s also considering taking the squash to the Soupateria, or sharing seeds with those who are interested in having some to grow in their own garden.