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Dussel’s plans for giant pumpkins

Published 4:02pm Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hundreds of southwest Michigan residents are anticipated to cart giant, homegrown pumpkins to Dussel’s Farm Market’s sixth annual Pumpkin Contest at noon Oct. 13, competing for a first-place prize of $400.

The fall festival is everything pumpkin and will feature not only the contest, which will weigh pumpkins to determine who grew the largest, but also open pumpkin carving classes and pumpkin pie judging. Other activities will include face painting, food, hayrides and train rides.

“It takes 110 days to grow a giant pumpkin,” Mark Dussel, owner, said on the market’s website. “That’s 110 days you’re going spend together as a family. You and your child work together, and, while the pumpkin grows, your relationship grows … and that’s the key.”

The largest pumpkin contest is designated for visitors 18 years of age and younger. The open pumpkin carving classes are $20 for adults and free for children, both of which will award first-, second- and third-place prizes. The pumpkin pie judging encourages all visitors to enter the contest, which will be judged on appearance, difficulty and presentation. The pies entered must be pumpkin and cash prizes for first, second and third place will be awarded.

Elena Chavez, an employee of Dussel’s, said the festival has grown each year, and organizers expect more growth next Saturday.

“I would say we had at least 200 people last year,” Chavez said Tuesday. “We always welcome more.”

Chavez said that even with the drought throughout the summer, market employees still anticipate large pumpkins. The largest pumpkin recorded to date weighed around 320 pounds from Lansing.

“They get pretty big, and we like to keep it fun for the kids who enter,” Chavez said.

Dussel’s Farm Market is located at 21765 M-60 in Cassopolis. For more information, call (269) 445-8715.

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