CROSS JUNCTION — Ten-year-old Reed Saville loves pumpkins.
The Gainesboro Elementary School fifth-grader has grown more than 100 pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes this season on two small patches next to his Frederick County home. At the Clarke County Fair in August, he won first place for the largest pumpkin. His winning entry weighed 90.4 pounds.
“I was excited,” he said when he saw his winning pumpkin featured in a photograph on the front page of the The Winchester Star last month.
Reed has been growing pumpkins for three years. He likes them because he was born in October and the fun that comes with Halloween. He plans on carving his winning pumpkin for Halloween, but he’s not sure what design he’ll carve.
“I just always thought it was kind of cool how they got their color and how big they got,” Reed said about pumpkins.
He is involved in all aspects of the pumpkin-growing process, from planting the seeds at the end of May, to watering and weeding, to harvesting them in August.
His mother, Tiffany Saville, said she’s happy to see Reed take pride in farming, which is a family tradition.
“He’s there the whole way,” Saville said.
Reed fertilizes his plants with Miracle-Gro. He also plants special pumpkin seeds called Big Mac and Big Moon, which produce large pumpkins. He doesn’t use pesticides.
Reed’s great-grandfather on his dad’s side was a farmer. His great-great-grandfather on his mom’s side was also a farmer. Before he passed away, Reed’s great-grandfather would give him advice on growing pumpkins and gourds.
Though the big pumpkins aren’t for eating, Reed’s grandmother pureed some of the smaller ones to make pancake mix. Pumpkin pancakes are his favorite way to consume pumpkin.
Besides raising pumpkins, Reed enjoys drawing, driving tractors and go-carts, and learning about Civil War history.
Since a very young age, he has wanted to be a diesel mechanic who works on farm equipment. He hopes to continue growing pumpkins. He might grow corn as well.
Growing pumpkins and gourds has taught Reed a lot about patience and hard work.
“It’s not that easy to grow plants,” he said.
This was his best pumpkin-growing season so far, according to his mother.
Reed said he finds it rewarding when he can finally harvest his pumpkins and gourds after months of growing.
Anyone interested in purchasing one of Reed’s pumpkins should email Tiffany Saville at firstname.lastname@example.org.