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Snoqualmie family has pumpkin power

Accompanied by the family dog, Snoqualmie resident Julie Johnson checks out the 400-pound pumpkin growing in her front yard. White scars on the flesh, called “cantelouping,” means the great big vegetable is mature.  - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Accompanied by the family dog, Snoqualmie resident Julie Johnson checks out the 400-pound pumpkin growing in her front yard. White scars on the flesh, called “cantelouping,” means the great big vegetable is mature.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

It took the summer sun, a powerful mix of manure and an entire patch of pumpkin vines to grow Julie and Jerry Johnson’s prize 400- pound pumpkin.

The huge orange-red Holland variety has drawn some looks from passersby at their Snoqualmie residence off 88th Street.

“A lot of people stop in the road to look at it,” Julie said.

And that’s fine by her — the neighborhood is welcome to check out her garden.

“It’s for everybody,” she said.

The Johnsons aim to grow big pumpkins every year. They hand-pollinated the pumpkin from a former champion grower, and put the blossoms under a light in the cool month of July to get them to open.

They planned to truck the pumpkin down to the Central Market in Seattle to show it off.

Julie’s not sure what to carve in the massive orange face. In past years, the Johnsons cut a cross, and a squirrel biting a nut.

As the pumpkin matures, it gets whitish, scarlike lines on its flesh. That’s called cantelouping, Julie said.

“That means it’s done,” she explained. “It’s got its character.”

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