Monster of Mapua

Massive pumpkin wins Mega Big Boy prize

SASHA BORISSENKO
Last updated 09:37 14/04/2014
pumpkin
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
ORANGE SQUASH: Tyler McKay with the 334kg pumpkin he grew for the Mapua Mega Pumpkin Competition at the Mapua Tavern.

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Tyler McKay pipped his dad with his winning pumpkin.

The 14-year-old's 334kg pumpkin took the Mega Big Boy prize at the 2014 Mapua Mega Pumpkin weigh in at the Mapua Tavern on Saturday.

Tyler said it was a case of like father, like son.

His father, John, took home the trophy for the heaviest pumpkin in 2012 at 616kg. But this year his star pumpkin blew up.

It was growing so fast it just popped out of the blossom end overnight, he said. "When it blows up like that it is all over."

He was competitive, entering each year just to see how big he could grow his pumpkins.

"That is probably why mine popped this year".

There was no secret to growing a prizewinning pumpkin other than having awesome soil, awesome seeds and putting in a lot of work, he said. He was proud of his son's efforts.

Tyler McKay said he had no desire to make a batch of soup from his winning pumpkin.

Mapua Club president and event organiser Martyn Barlow said the event went spectacularly well and it was always a hilarious occasion.

Helicopters had transported pumpkins in the past, he said.

The seeds of the competition derived from a bet at the Mapua Tavern, where a "bunch of lads" could not decide who could grow the greatest pumpkin.

Nine years later and the pumpkin competition had grown into an annual event.

Mapua bred a competitive bunch too, he said.

"You get a lot of banter - we have a lot of "my pumpkin is bigger than your pumpkin" type of talk among the lads."

There had never been any cheating "because people are pretty honest out this way".

It was also nice to get kids out and about in the garden, he said.

There was something for everyone, from the "ugly fugly" to the "arty farty".

It was about getting everyone involved in the community.

The Mapua Club had raised about $7000 in the last four years for various local charities and organisations. The money raised this year was still to be determined.

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