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Prize winning pumpkin is child's play

THIS is the prize-winning pumpkin which two Solihull youngsters have grown in their back garden.


THIS is the prize-winning pumpkin which two Solihull youngsters have grown in their back garden.

Weighing 307lb, the mammoth vegetable was nurtured by Stuart and Ewan Salter. Earlier this month the brothers entered the Annual Pumpkin Festival and were amazed when they finished fifth in the contest.

It was quite a challenge for the Salter family to transport the pumpkin all the way to Southampton - where the event was held.

Four people were needed to lift the orange monster into the back of the Land Rover Defender that the boys' dad had borrowed from work.

Dozens of gardeners, from around the country, had entered the veg of their labours into the competition. Although many had been plotting for years, the Olton boys were not to be outdone and were very pleased with their top-five finish.

Spencer Salter, the youngsters' dad, said: "The boys have always been really interested in growing things. We've got a big garden so we try to make the most of it.

"We decided to grow pumpkins as a bit of fun for Halloween, but this one got bigger and bigger. I found out about the festival and thought it would be good to enter. It's a shame that we didn't have a very good summer - I think it would have been even larger if we'd had more sun.

"As well as the pumpkin, we also entered a 90lb squash and that came top in its category."

But what is the Salter's secret? According to Spencer all the plants need is plenty of loving care and a few pounds of horse manure.

At the moment the vegetable is being kept in the family's garage and will be carved in a few weeks time. Next year the brothers are hoping to do even better - but they still have some way to go before they smash the European record.

This was broken by the winners of this year's festival, whose pumpkin weighed in at 1,475lbs and was heavier than a mini.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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