La Vista family grows, displays giant pumpkin

Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 11:50 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - For the 4th year in a row, Carl Fleming, Jr. has grown and displayed a giant pumpkin outside of his La Vista home. This year’s gourd comes in at a whopping 450 pounds, and that’s not even the heaviest he’s grown.

In 2017, Fleming got the seeds from a family friend and, every year since he and his family have enjoyed growing a giant pumpkin in their backyard.

“Since the first year I did it, it just got in my blood where I enjoy doing it,” said Fleming.

The first year he grew one, it weighed in at 680.5 pounds, winning at a contest in Pawnee City. This year’s pumpkin is the second heaviest.

In mid-April of this year the Fleming family started the pumpkin seed in a solo cup filled with dirt before putting it into the ground in mid-May.

Fleming’s kids, Layna and Bubba helped with the planting process and watered the pumpkin every day.

“It’s just fun and it’s something to do outside with family and all that,” said 11-year-old Bubba.

But the kids weren’t much help a few weeks ago when the pumpkin was to be moved from the backyard to the front yard.

That’s when Carl Fleming enlisted the help of some kind neighbors.

“Four other gentlemen helped me with a tarp. We took a few breaks on the journey from the backyard to the front yard but we made it," said Fleming through laughter. "It was a struggle so thank you neighbors for all your help!”

The pumpkin is perched on a wooden crate among other Halloween decor and has become somewhat of an attraction in the La Vista community.

“It’s nice to see the other families come and take a picture with it, it’s just real neat that they share it with us,” said Fleming.

A few days before Halloween, the family will carve the pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern. They’ll save the seeds, dry them out, and replant next year. Fleming says he’s also happy to hand out seeds to people who want to grow their own.

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