One little girl's Great Giant pumpkin patch
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Ashlynn Anthony, 6 of Towamensing, sits on top of the Great Giant pumpkin she grew herself.
Last year Towamensing Elementary kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Green, gave all her students four Great Giant pumpkin seeds and told the children they should plant them in the spring.
Ashlynn Anthony, then 5 years old, took them home and told her mother to save them so she could plant them.
When her grandparents, Rodney and Dolores George of Towamensing, and her mother, Melissa George, began preparing their gardens this year, Ashlynn told them she wanted her own garden.
"We have a garden to grow food so we don't have to buy food," she says very matter-of-factly.
She enjoys eating everything they grow, but wanted to plant her most favorite things in her own garden, which would be green and yellow beans and peas. She also wanted to plant her pumpkin seeds.
"At first I couldn't remember where I put them," says Melissa George, who later found them in a drawer. Ashlynn planted her four Great Giant pumpkin seeds in her garden. One little girl began waiting for four Great Giant pumpkins.
"She took care of watering and weeding her garden herself," her grandmother Dolores George says proudly.
Ashlynn was thrilled to see her seeds sprouting into four pumpkins and monitored their growth daily.
When they began to grow bigger and bigger, her grandfather, who had learned the pumpkins should be raised off the ground so they wouldn't rot, placed them on top of milk crates.
As the autumn days become shorter, the pumpkins are close to reaching their final growing stage. Ashlynn has three pumpkins that are nice size and one that far exceeded her expectations.
Her mother measures it to be about 78 inches around and her grandfather says he thinks it's about 200 pounds because he can't lift it anymore. He says they didn't add anything to it, it just grew that big on its own.
All Ashlynn knows, it's a big giant pumpkin and she can climb up on it and sit on it, which makes it a really neat pumpkin.
When asked what she plans to do with it, she says, "Make pumpkin pie out of it."
She's planning to help her mother and grandmother carve faces out of the other three for Halloween.
Ashlynn might only be 6 years old and a student in Mrs. Paulinho's first grade class, but she's also now a successful Great Giant pumpkin farmer. She's hoping to break her record next year.