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Student grows pumpkin

POSTED: November 30, 2011 4:00 a.m.

A sixth grader at Riverview Middle School is the county-wide winner in the annual 4-H pumpkin growing contest.

The pumpkin Anna Dempsey grew in a flower garden at her grandma's house on Seed Tick Road weighed in at 54 pounds.

"I've grown things before, but this is the first time I've grown anything for 4-H," she said. "I'm usually not too good with plants, so I was really surprised that it got so big and didn't rot."

Dempsey planted her pumpkin seeds at the end of summer and used nutrients like Miracle Grow in the soil.

"I cut the dead leaves off and the vine was growing down off a railroad tie, so it got a lot of nutrients," she said.

Dempsey said the trick was waiting until the "last minute" to cut it off the vine.

"I thought it was about 30 pounds when my mom almost couldn't pick it up to put it in the car," she said.

After a trip to the local extension center to be weighed, the preteen took the pumpkin home and carved it into a jack-o-lantern for Halloween.

For her green thumb efforts, Dempsey was awarded a T-shirt and $75 from 4-H.

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