Mario’s top two pumpkins take up the majority of his son’s pick-up bed. (Special to THE NEWS)

Mario’s top two pumpkins take up the majority of his son’s pick-up bed. (Special to THE NEWS)

88-year-old Pitt Meadows farmer grows 161-pound pumpkin

Granddaughter goaded Mario Palcich into growing giant gourds

In Mario Palcich’s 47 years of tending to his Pitt Meadows farm, he has put the land to excellent use.

The 88-year-old Italian farmer has reared sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, and rabbits; in addition to growing grapes, apples, cherries, and plums on a beautiful plot of land off Old Dewdney Trunk Road.

It was not until last year that he grew his first pumpkin.

His daughter in-law, April Ferguson, said Palcich’s granddaughter – who loves pumpkins – asked him why he had never grown the popular fall fruit.

“So, he said, ‘let me try!”’ Ferguson said.

READ MORE: Giant pumpkin growing new tradition in Whonnock

Palcich said he asked his friends in the Okanagan for some seeds, and got to work.

Last year he tried them in the east end of his garden, under a Queen apple tree, but the soil ended up having too much clay, so they did not turn out as well as he would have liked.

This year he placed them someplace with better soil, added some good compost, and gave them some special attention.

The results were a couple hefty pumpkins that his granddaughter was delighted with. The largest was 161 pounds.

Although he was remiss to give all his secrets, Palcich said growing them is fairly straightforward.

“You have to look after them, pull the weeds, and water them regularly,” he said.

He made sure he removed the fruits which were not growing as quickly, so all of the plants’ energy went towards the best pumpkins.

Unfortunately due to COVID, Palcich did not feel comfortable taking part in any harvest contests this year, but he said he is considering showing off next year’s crop, and promises they will be even bigger.



ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

FarmingPitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

School sign at Pitt Meadows secondary, which is one of the schools in the district with a recent exposure to COVID-19. (The News files)
Five schools added to list of those with COVID-19 exposures

Surge in cases at Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows schools

Approximately $1.6 million was provided by the province to support the Foundry’s virtual services, including the development of the new Foundry app. (The News files)
New app to help youth access mental health and substance use supports

New Foundry BC app to complement services at Foundry Ridge Meadows

RCMP stock photo. (Black Press)
Throat injury call brings large Ridge Meadows RCMP response

Incident sees two men facing assault-related charges

Amazon has announced the creation of five new facilities in B.C., to employ about 2,000 people. (Amazon/Special to Black Press Media)
Amazon adds new facilities in Langley, Pitt Meadows, Delta, Vancouver

The Vancouver port centre will be the first Amazon centre to feature robotics in B.C.

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

Most Read