Go ahead and call it a plumpkin.
The Zambito family’s latest member — a 502-pound squash — is getting gourds of attention from passersby, plopped prettily as it is for trick-or-treaters and muses of wonder to marvel over outside their Kensington home at 416 McDonald Ave., off Church Avenue.
The orange beauty, lovingly cultivated by patriarch John at his farm in upstate Chenango County before being transported to Brooklyn in a truck and hauled out by seven people, even boasts a moniker as mighty as its glorious girth — the aptly-named Atlantic Giant.
“It gained 12 pounds a day,” bragged matriarch Dawn, who was squashed for sidewalk space by the massive crowd-pleaser — which weighs more than two full-grown male orangutans — when the family debuted it over the weekend as part of its Halloween display.
It’s so gigantic that people are questioning its authenticity.
“We have a sign above it saying that it’s real and to please not bang it,” said Dawn.
The woman explained that her hubby was so smitten by the gorgeous fruit that he tended to it like a mother hen, even using special seaweed fertilizer — like a Viagra for pumpkins — to coax its size.
“He’s very proud of it, but I thought he was crazy,” she laughed. “I asked him, ‘Once you grow it, what are you gonna do with it?’”
Atlantic Giants are unique because their fruit is more colossal than that produced by any other plant in the world, with gourds exceeding six feet in diameter. The heaviest one on record hails from Wisconsin, smashing the scales at 1,810.5 pounds — almost as large as a killer whale.
The Zambito’s jack-o’-lantern may be a welterweight by comparison, but we still think it’s eye-poppingly awesome. Of course, all that could change by next year because John has bigger seeds to sow, says Dawn. His goal? To best that Wisconsin behemoth, and bring the pumpkin crown and glory to Brooklyn where it belongs.
— Shavana Abruzzo
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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