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DL youth grows a really big pumpkin


When 9-year-old Hananiah Klemm started his gardening project this spring, he had one goal in mind -- to grow a giant pumpkin.

"I like pumpkin pie," explained the Detroit Lakes youth. "I was thinking of pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, lots of stuff. Just not pumpkin soup, 'cause that sounds gross."

The Klemms divided their vegetable garden into four quarters, with Hananiah getting one quarter to plant whatever he wished.

Besides his pumpkin, he added watermelon, beans and tomatoes.

His older brother Manasseh, 10, was also allotted a quarter of the garden to plant his favorites, and he chose to indulge his taste for all things sweet by planting sweet corn and cherry tomatoes as well as beans.

"I try to do a garden every year, for education," explained their mother, Serah.

"I teach the process of planting and growing."

In years past, the boys simply helped Serah with her own planting, but this year, they decided they wanted their own plot, she added.

Though both plots flourished, Hananiah's pumpkin soon became so large that "it started taking over," laughed Serah.

"Almost every thing in the garden was vines," Hananiah added.

His pumpkin kept growing, and growing, and pretty soon it was so large that it practically covered his quarter plot.

"He said he wanted to grow a giant pumpkin, and that's what he did," said Serah.

On the advice of a grower at the Lakes Area Farmers Market -- where Serah began marketing her gluten-free muffins this past summer -- Hananiah waited until September to pick the pumpkin.

Though they don't know how much the pumpkin actually weighs -- not being quite sure how to accomplish the task -- it's definitely the biggest pumpkin they've ever seen.

Hananiah said he plans to continue his project next summer, to see if he can grow an even bigger one.

The large, orange fruit -- yes, pumpkins are considered fruit, not vegetable, because of their seeds -- now adorns the Klemms' front yard on Reynolds Street in Detroit Lakes, where they plan to keep it on display at least through Halloween.

After that? It's pumpkin pie time!

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454