The Great Pumpkin

Residents of Windsor, NS and pumpkin growers around the world were saddened to learn of Pumpkin King Howard Dill’s passing yesterday after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Mr. Dill’s prize-winning Dill’s Atlantic Giant™ pumpkins captured the attention of many, including domestic megastar Martha Stewart. In the pumpkin-growing arena, Howard Dill is considered by many to be the king. Seeds from his personal variety are sold to competitive growers around the world, and his gigantic gourds are a staple at the Pumpkin Regatta, an annual event in which competitors row across Windsor’s Lake Pesaquid in hollowed-out, decorated pumpkins.

Mr. Dill gained fame in 1979, when one of his early creations took the top prize in the International Pumpkin Association’s annual weigh-off, tipping the scales at 199 kilograms. (In September 2007, Joe Jutras (RI) obtained the title of world’s largest pumpkin with a 1,689 pound, cream colored pumpkin.)

As you can imagine, Hallowe’en at the Dill farm was a sight to behold. (photo © Sherman Hines)

Soft spoken, friendly and accommodating to the many visitors to his farm, Howard will be missed by many, not the least of which are the residents of this town.

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6 thoughts on “The Great Pumpkin

  1. That’s sad to hear. Thanks for posting the biography. I recently saw a t.v. show about the Pumpkin Regatta – that would be an interesting ride.

  2. He certainly knew how to grow big pumpkins and I love the pic of his house at Halloween! It’s sad when people die especially after they battled with cancer, such a terrible disease.

  3. Very nice post, Nancy. I’ve found that gardeners are usually some of the nicest people around.
    The Pumpkin Regatta sounds like great fun.

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