Mikkal Hodge is the President of the Indiana Pumpkin Growers Association and Co-owner of “Hodge Family Farm” in Alexandria. For fun, he grows Giant Pumpkins! 1,200+ lb. pumpkins! He just took home first place in the Wassons Nursery Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off in Fishers.
What do you do with a 1,209 lb. pumpkin after your done competing? Mikkal says “In a normal year, the winning giant pumpkin goes on tour to different events to shows ’em off. This year’s a little different with the virus. Two of my 800lb. pumpkins went off to Pennsylvania for a set on a tv show. I always get to keep some seeds from the winners before they’re taken away.”
Pumpkin growing season just finished. Planting begins in April and they need a lot of sun and water. 100-150 gallons per day, 7 days a week! Pumpkins grow fast. “The fastest I’ve ever seen one grow was 63 lbs. in 24 hours. They are extremely fun to grow. You can almost watch them grow right before your eyes because they grow so fast. It makes it all worthwhile when you see kids have their pictures taken with the giant pumpkins. They’re so happy!” says Mikkal.
Mikkal Hodge was 11 years old when he grew his first giant pumpkin. 21 yrs later he’s the president of the Indiana Pumpkin Growers Asso. and using the giant pumpkins as way to get Hoosiers to come to his family farm.
Hodge Family Farm is in Alexandria Indiana. Hayrides, hot cider, and lots of pumpkins, space and fresh air!
If you’d like to try growing your own Giant Pumpkin next spring, you can order seeds from Urban Farmer in Westfield.