When Charles M. Shulz wrote his now famous Halloween story "Its the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" which was later made into an animated short I'm sure he had no idea that he would spawn a new genre in competitive gardening.  Pumpkin contests have become commonplace throughout the United States. 

I was one of those kids who read the book over and over again.  I have since graduated to trying my hand at growing some very big pumpkins.  My first attempts were using the Big Max variety seeds.  We did indeed grow some large ones.  Pumpkins in the 100+ range were not uncommon.  I worked with my wife and kids and we refined our techniques to get into the 200 pound range.  Now that's a big pumpkin.  We carve our pumpkins into Jack'O Lanterns, so bigger than 200 pounds just means their flesh is so thick that even with a butcher knife carving is impossible. 

Some of my friends grow the Atlantic Giant variety seeds.  Talk about your big pumpkin.  These things can really grow.  Check out this video from the today show. 

 

Not one to squelch a fun tradition I read the Great Pumpkin to my own children and have added a new favorite.  "Big Pumpkin."  Who knows?  Maybe in the future we really will have pumpkins as big as houses.  The imagination of a child can make what would have been impossible, commonplace.