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Quebec father-daughter duo set a new Canadian record with 2,000-pound pumpkin

Click to play video: 'Growing record-breaking pumpkins in Quebec' Growing record-breaking pumpkins in Quebec
WATCH: A Quebec father-daughter duo's 2,000-pound gourd is the envy of the pumpkin patch and a Canadian record. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports – Oct 21, 2021

Oddly shaped, bulging and orange, the Bryson family pumpkins won’t be winning any beauty contests.

But weighing in at a lumbering a 2,006.5 pounds, that’s not the record that matters.

Jim and Kelsey Bryson have managed to grow the massive pumpkin affectionately called Alice.

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It’s the heaviest gourd in Canada, according to the Giant Pumpkin Commonwealth, a group that establishes standards for pumpkin-growing competitions.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Kelsey said.

At the Woodbridge Fair in Ontario earlier in October, Kelsey said both she and her father were taken aback by the number on the scale.

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“When Dad and I turned around and saw the weight, we were in total shock. Both of us were tearing up and laughing. What was supposed to be 1,850 pounds, ended up weighing over 2,000. I still can’t believe it.”

The father-daughter duo has been growing Goliath gourds on their land in Ormstown, Que., a town 50 minutes from Montreal, since 2008.

Setting this year’s record is not the first for the family. In 2011 they achieved the world record, earning them international praise and recognition throughout the pumpkin-growing community.

But this year was special for the Brysons. They had never reached the one metric-ton milestone.

“The one-ton pumpkin is something we have been striving for, for the last few years, and to actually get that is incredible for both of us.”

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While the Brysons call it a hobby, they have learned from their years of experience.

Growing season starts as early as April and will last until mid October.

Placed separately in plots of about 950 square feet, the giants can grow up to 60 pounds every day, according to Jim.

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During the hot summer days, tending the pumpkins becomes as full-time job with constant attention.

“On the really hot days we can be out every 20 minutes just watering the plant,” he said.

Its a mixture of keeping things organic, plot rotation, the use of bio-simulants like maple syrup, and most important, no tilling the soil.

“As soon as you till the soil you are not really helping the value in your food because you get rid of all the life in your soil,” Jim said.

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The Guiness World Record is now held by a Tuscan farmer with a pumpkin weighing in at a whopping 2,702 lbs.

“I think I can grow another world record, so that’s why I’m going to keep growing,” Jim said. He is determined to regain the title.

Kelsey is already looking to next year’s growing season.

“All we’re missing is another 700 pounds.”

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