Agri Kultuur March/ Maart 2016 - Page 85

Article by Sean Freeman T he South African Giant Pumpkin record has been broken by a lady farmer from the Midvaal, Gauteng. Shirley Olivier has smashed the South African giant pumpkin record with a massive pumpkin weighing in at 506 kg. Her pumpkin has beaten the previous record set in 2014 in the Western Cape by 8.5 kg. Shirley has been growing giant pumpkins competitively for 4 years, and consistently features in the top 3 largest pumpkins at the annual Standard Bank / Livingseeds Giant Pumpkin Competition hosted in the Midvaal. For breaking the South African record Shirley walked away with R 20 000 courtesy of Standard Bank who is the main sponsor of this unique event. Second place went to last year’s winner Hugo le Rouxs and Team “Fluffy”, who fielded an impressive pumpkin weighing in at 416 kg. Giant pumpkin growers are a breed apart and often spend hours tending and grooming their prize pumpkin for weigh-in day. Giant pumpkins grow to full size in just under 90 days, putting on an impressive 25 kg per day, around day 50 and then tapering off to a mere 1 or 2 kg per day just before harvesting. In the picture left to right: Philani Ndolvu (Standard Bank Agri) Claire Slabber (Talborne Organics) Shirley Olivier (Grower) Sean Freeman ( For more information on growing or entering next year’s Giant Pumpkin competition email who knows you might walk away with first prize next year. Livingseeds is South Africa’s Heirloom vegetable seed supplier. Livingseeds grows over 600 different vegetable varieties on our farm near Henley-on-Klip. We specialise in the unusual and hard to find vegetables that makes growing and eating so much fun. Sean: 071 911 5159 or e-mail