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Event to produce area’s biggest pumpkin

By Tim Ruzek

Post-Bulletin, Austin MN

Massive vegetables, flowers and fruit will be converging on asphalt Saturday in northwest Austin.

They won’t be your typical produce.

Last year, the top pumpkin in the annual Big Pumpkin Weigh Off tipped the scales at nearly 1,300 pounds, according to Jim Stiles, owner of Super Fresh Produce Bakery & Garden Center.

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"Each year, they just keep getting bigger and bigger," Stiles said.

For about seven years, Super Fresh, 2101 Fourth St. N.W., has hosted the weigh-off that attracts growers from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and sometimes elsewhere, Stiles said.

The event will start at 8 a.m. with a pancake fundraiser, the proceeds of which go to the Hayfield Future Farmers of America group, Stiles said. Freewill donations will be taken for it.

From 10 a.m. to noon, contestants will have their giant pumpkins, squash, corn, sunflowers and watermelons weighed at Super Fresh. More than $1,000 worth of cash and prizes will be given away.

Farm animals, such as rabbits, chickens and goats, are expected to be part of a petting zoo at the event that will run until about 4 p.m., Stiles said.

Produce entered in the event also will remain on display throughout October at the store, he said, hopefully including the winning pumpkin.

Tickets also will be for sale for the annual Halloween Warm Up set for Oct. 12-13 at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center in Austin.

Go & Do

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What: The Big Pumpkin Weigh Off.

Where: Jim’s Super Fresh Produce Bakery & Garden Center, 2101 Fourth St. N.W., Austin.

When: 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday — pancake fundraiser for the Hayfield FFA; 10 a.m. to noon — weigh-off contests. A petting zoo will be there until 4 p.m.

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