From the Queens Chronicle:
A woman from Jamaica who prides herself on having a green thumb has grown the jack of all lanterns, the grandest of gourds — a whopping 59-pound pumpkin.
“I was so surprised,” Florence Johnson said of the massive fruit. “I screamed. I couldn’t believe that something like that grew in such a small backyard.”
Pumpkins aren’t the only things Johnson grows in her 136th Avenue garden — there are potatoes, squash, green peppers, string beans, tomatoes and calloo, a plant typically used in West Indian cuisine.
But although they are larger than the average fruits and vegetables you would find in a supermarket and tastier too, according to Johnson, none has reached the gigantic proportions of this year’s pumpkin.
The orange-yellow fruit with its thick rind, edible flesh and many seeds is 2 feet, 7 inches tall and about 42 to 44 inches around.
Johnson, 67, said she needed the help of family and friends to lift the pumpkin and place it on her front porch. She has since moved it inside her home, for fear it might get stolen.
“They have never seen anything like it,” Johnson said. “They think I should keep it as a souvenir.”
Since making its public debut last Tuesday, the portly pumpkin has garnered the attention of more than a dozen passersby, who can’t help but marvel at its surprising scale.
“They took a lot of pictures,” Johnson said. “Even the people from my church came by to see it. It’s amazing.”