SPEARFISH — Matthew Murraine wants the people who stole his giant pumpkin to know they stole from kids.
On Friday night, the great pumpkin caper occurred.
“They backed right up to the house. That’s pretty brazen,” Murraine said. “They brought a saw. You could see on the stem where they had cut. So it was something they planned.”
Murraine was growing “Big Max” pumpkins since May at his home at 126 State St. The giant pumpkins were visible from the street and became a neighborhood topic.
“The kids I was going to give it to would come over and see how the growth of their pumpkin was going,” Murraine said.
He had two pumpkins growing. The larger one, which was stolen, weighed 100 pounds and was two feet in diameter, he estimated.
“It dwarfed my daughter, and she is 3,” Murraine said.
He valued the pumpkin at approximately $200.
This was the first year he tried growing pumpkins, a crop that takes a great deal of time and energy to grow.
“They take a gallon of milk a week (for the calcium) and 20 gallons of water every four days,” he said.
Murraine said the big pumpkin still had a month of growing time left and would have reached 120 pounds or so. It isn’t ripe, so it wouldn’t be ready to carve, and its innards are not ripe to use for making pies.
“I want them to felt guilty about taking them from kids,” Murraine said. “I want them to till foliage back into ground when done growing so it is ready for next year.”
He said watching the pumpkins grow was fascinating and added that the giant fruits could grow as much as two inches overnight.
“In a nerdy-pumpkin grower kind of way it was really cool,” he said.
Murraine added that he plans on growing two pumpkins varieties next year, Big Moon and Dill’s Atlantic Giant. The latter, he said, can grow a vine full of 200-pound pumpkins, and if all but one are trimmed off, the single fruit can grow up to 800 pounds.
As for the lone remaining pumpkin at his house, it is going to local children.
If you stole the pumpkin or have information about the theft, call the Spearfish Police Department at 642-1305.
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