WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 31, 2012, 06:18 PM

Ottertail man boasts award winning 854 pound pumpkin

Ottertail, MN (WDAY TV) - There is no shortage of Halloween Spirit in Ottertail, Minnesota.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Ottertail, MN (WDAY TV) - There is no shortage of Halloween Spirit in Ottertail, Minnesota.

Dave Hawes is making sure of that. He and his award-winning Giant Pumpkin are the talk of the town.

Linus started the craziness back in 1966. The search for the Great Pumpkin.

We found it. There is no Linus in lakes country, but with the summer tourists gone, the streets of Otter Tail may be a little sleepier this time of year, but this week the talk of the town at Betty's Pantry is more than her chicken dinner. Dave Hawes of Ottertail and his 854 pound Pumpkin have stolen the show.

Today, little Anna Davis found the Giant Pumpkin to be the best fruit, not to eat, but to climb on, as she and her parents came to Betty's for lunch the great pumpkin greeted them.

Chris Davis: “That's a big pumpkin.”

Dave started the giant pumpkin from seed last spring.

Dave Hawes, Pumpkin Grower: “You just can't put them in the ground and grow them you have to start them inside, and get an early start, earlier the better.”

Babied it all summer. A little TLC with something stinky.

Hawes: “A lot of cow manure.”

Dave entered and won a giant pumpkin competition with the 845 pound giant jack o’ lantern, more than just its weight.

Hawes: “It is for the prettiest pumpkin over 500 pounds.”

It sure gets a lot of attention. Heads shake. What does it take to grow something so big? No fancy chemicals, just…

Hawes: “It is in the seeds, you need good seeds.”

And a sense of humor.

Hawes: “It takes a lot of time. It is not a hobby, it is more like an illness.”

It's just a pumpkin after all.

And what happens to this pumpkin? Well it won't just rot away; it will be given to a local farmer who feeds it to his sheep.