It's that time of year again. Pumpkins and decorative gourds are out in full force, along with the obligatory pumpkin contests, where orange orbs of ungodly sizes compete in weight championships all over the world. This year, one of those pumpkin contests proves to be about more than just show.
Ray and Sarah Armstrong of Nottingham, England, won second place in a contest for their 820-pound pumpkin. (First place weighed in at a shocking 1,256 pounds.) Instead of letting the gourd rot away, or smashing it up, or doing whatever else one might do with a pumpkin this size, the Armstrongs have decided to donate the squash to a community center in Nottingham. It will be used to feed the homeless.
"We heard other giant pumpkin growers donate theirs to the local zoo, where elephants smash them up and eat them," Ray says. "We just thought if it could feed an elephant, how many people could it feed?"
So big it needed to be raised by a forklift, the gourd may be able to feed as many as 700 people, the Armstrongs estimate.
"Hopefully we'll be able to make some jam or soup from it," Susan Rider, the community center's manager, says.