Competition for WV students to grow big pumpkins for Kenova Pumpkin House

The people who work to put on the display at the Kenova Pumpkin House want more of the pumpkins to come from students in WV this year with a new competition.
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 1:22 PM EDT|Updated: May. 3, 2023 at 1:24 PM EDT
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KENOVA, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The people who work to put on the display at the Kenova Pumpkin House want more of the pumpkins to come from students in West Virginia this year with a new competition.

“Last year at the Pumpkin House, we had visitors from 24 countries, 45 states and 226 West Virginia communities,” said Pumpkin House owner Ric Griffith.

This year, Griffith wants to put even more meaning behind it by putting a call out to West Virginia students to see who can grow the biggest pumpkin.

“We want to reach out to more people across the state to participate in the Pumpkin House and the way that we hope to do that is by giant pumpkins grown by students across West Virginia,” Griffith said.

The Giant Pumpkin Association will be coming up with rules for this contest, and there will be cash prizes for the winners. Students who enter will get assistance from the association.

“We’re going to provide mentoring and seeds for the kids if they choose to participate, and we hope to get 4H and FAA students across the state,” Griffith said.

Farmer Jason Ekers owns Rocky Knob Farm and is an AG mentor in Wayne County. He helps supply pumpkins to the house and can help with mentoring.

“If they can grow a pumpkin and have a mentor offering them seeds from good genetics and help them along the way, what a fun time it will be to come to the Pumpkin House in Kenova to see the pumpkins on display and see their own pumpkin also,” Ekers said.

The seeds students will get to plant, aren’t just any seeds and you can see it in the size difference because the genetics are different.

This contest will hopefully get more kids interested in agriculture and boost ag-tourism in our area.

“We really enjoy and have seen the rewards from being here, seeing the smile on peoples faces, seeing people come from everywhere to enjoy what’s been started here,” said Ekers. “To share that with other people, especially kids, you can’t ask for anything funner.”

“We want to have the 50,000 visitors that come each year to see more of West Virginia,” said Griffith. “It would be great to see more people locally as well as statewide involved.”

They hope to have the competition details ironed out by the end of this week to give students time to get planting before fall.

You can stay up to date on the Pumpkin House website.