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Growing pumpkins is all in the family
Pumpkin pic
Caleb Waters, 11, recently won the annual Dawson County 4-H Pumpkin Growing contest, after growing a 125-pound gourd during the fall. - photo by For the Dawson Community News

When it comes to growing gargantuan pumpkins in Dawson County, the Waters Family is hard to beat.


The most recent victor being 11-year-old Caleb Waters, a young master of the orange orbs.


Waters recently won first place in the annual 4-H Pumpkin Growing contest.


At the state level, he took home fourth place, after being beat by the owner of a 226-pound pumpkin raised in south Georgia.


Waters began growing his pumpkin on May 1, and harvested the prize gourd at the end of September. When it came judging time, it weighed in at 125 pounds.


Waters said the trick to growing a good-sized pumpkin is “keeping the bugs off. You have to make sure you keep them away, so they don’t eat the leaves.”


Mother, Lisa Waters, said her son learned the “skills of pumpkin growing from his uncle, Eddie.”


Eddie Waters and Caleb Waters are “like peas in a pod,” she said. The two would go out every day and tend to the plants.


“They treated those pumpkins like people almost,” she said. “They babied those things.”


Whatever they did, it worked, she said.


“This is a farming family. Caleb has really taken to the joy of working in the garden with pumpkins,” she added.


Caleb Waters’ cousin, Jonathan Waters, has also won the contest in the past after growing a 400-pound pumpkin.