Jim Baxter with one of his Atlantic Giant pumpkins, which he will enter into the JJ Richards and Sons 2017 Stanthorpe Show.
Jim Baxter with one of his Atlantic Giant pumpkins, which he will enter into the JJ Richards and Sons 2017 Stanthorpe Show. Liana Turner

Big crop ripe for judging at Stanthorpe Show

HE WAS a star in last year's giant pumpkin competitions, and he's back for more.

Jim Baxter has once again been growing mammoth pumpkins on his property at The Summit in preparation for the JJ Richards and Sons 2017 Stanthorpe Show.

Mr Baxter placed first in last year's Stanthorpe and Warwick shows, before coming in second at the Ekka with the Atlantic Giant variety.

While he won't be making any palatable soup with the pumpkins, he enjoyed growing them and competing.

"I grow these because, well, it's just a fun thing,” he said.

"They taste awful, they're not an eating pumpkin at all.

"They started growing them in North America when it snows, for cattle food.”

He said the giant produce was a spectacle and proved a big hit at the show.

"I find little kids really like them. They come and sit on them and cuddle them and stuff like that,” he said.

Mr Baxter hoped to do well in this year's Biggest Pumpkin Competition, sponsored by Orchard Services.

"They're looking pretty good. They're pretty similar to last year,” he said.

"Growing anything's a bit tenuous. You could get a hail storm and not have any left and they get damaged, but they're looking pretty good.”

After sharing some of his seeds, Mr Baxter said others on the Granite Belt were also growing the variety

Mr Baxter said he was also looking forward to showing one of his old machines.

"I'm in the Stanthorpe Historic Vehicle and Machinery Group and... I'll take a tractor or two up,” he said.

The JJ Richards and Sons 2017 Stanthorpe Show will take place at the Stanthorpe Showgrounds from Friday, February 3, to Sunday, February 5.

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