4-Hers excel in giant pumpkin growing contest

Rebecca Baird takes a measurement of her pumpkin. Baird received an honorable mention in the giant pumpkin growing contest. (Photo provided)

The University of Illinois Extension wrapped up its giant pumpkin growing contest Oct. 31. Seven outstanding pumpkins were submitted by local youth. All contestants were Winnebago County 4-Hers.

The U of I Extension provided Big Mac giant pumpkin seeds to more than 100 participants in an effort to promote the Plant-A-Row (PAR) for the Hungry program. PAR promotes growing an extra row of veggies in your home garden with the purpose of donating that fresh produce to area food pantries. This year, PAR collected and distributed more than 14 tons of fresh produce to Rockford-area food pantries.

Seven contest entries were received. The largest of the seven pumpkins weighed in at 89 pounds, belonging to Christina Chestnut. Other award winners include Jared Manley, Cordell Schelm, Sowmya Monroe, Kelsey Montgomery, Emily Lopata and Rebecca Baird.

From the Nov. 23-29, 2011, issue

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