Oh my gourd: N.S. farmer could hold new record for longest gourd in North America

·2 min read
Frank Ansems is seen holding his record-setting gourd at the annual Great Howard Dill Pumpkin Classic last Saturday. The gourd measured 3.9 metres. (Submitted by Frank Ansems - image credit)
Frank Ansems is seen holding his record-setting gourd at the annual Great Howard Dill Pumpkin Classic last Saturday. The gourd measured 3.9 metres. (Submitted by Frank Ansems - image credit)

A Nova Scotia farmer has grown what is believed to be the longest gourd in North America.

"It looks like a real long bean," Frank Ansems told CBC Radio's Maritime Noon on Friday.

Ansems' ginormous gourd — measuring 3.9 metres — was grown on his hobby farm in North Alton, near Kentville, N.S.

It was measured at the second annual Great Howard Dill Pumpkin Classic in Windsor last Saturday, and is now believed to hold the North American record.

"It's a lot of fun watching them grow because you can almost see it at certain times … grow about five, six, seven inches a day," Ansems said.

Ansems, 80, grew the gourd this summer by hanging it from a trellis. The weight allows it to grow faster and longer.

"I had to dig a hole in the ground in order to accommodate the rest of it, because my trellises are not high enough," he said.

Ansems said not much is required to grow a record-setting gourd. Manure and agricultural lime are important, but other than that it's just "a lot of water, a lot of time, a lot of patience."

Submitted by Frank Ansems
Submitted by Frank Ansems

Although he's proud of his gourd, Ansems isn't celebrating the North American record just yet.

He said there's still time to beat his record this growing season, which will likely end this month.

"It's never secured until it's all over," he said.

1 inch from world record

Ansems has been growing larger-than-life gourds for about 11 years, and setting records runs in the family.

Ansems' nephew, Fred Ansems, set the world record for longest gourd in 2013. At the time, his gourd measured 3.5 metres.

That record has since been broken by Goran Lazic of Slovenia in 2019, who still holds the title.

Ansems said he was trying to beat the world record this year, but was just one inch short.

"You try to do your best," he said. "If I would have pollinated it two days earlier or the weigh-off was a week later, it might have made it then."

Next year, he'll try again for the world record.

"We've got a little ways to go. Gotta get that extra inch."

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