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Gardener in Wales Raises 375-Pound ‘Great Pumpkin’

From Times Wires Services

Linus, the Peanuts comic strip character, should go to this Welsh city for his annual Halloween hunt for the “Great Pumpkin.”

There he will find Penelope, a mammoth orange-colored gourd weighing 375 pounds and measuring 10 feet in circumference that won first prize in the British Giant Vegetable Championships on Friday. It took seven men to lift it onto the scale.

How did Penelope get that big? Easy, explained its owner, gardener Bernard Lavery, 50: “The secret of success is keeping your pumpkin warm. I took the blankets off my bed to wrap Penelope up at night.”

Penelope did not beat the British record of 444 pounds set in 1984, but Lavery set world records with Ruth, a 22.6-pound radish, and Charlie, a 134-inch-long carrot grown down a length of drainpipe.

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