CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Justin Ownby is known for his pumpkins, and now he’s become a viral sensation after video of him paddling in a hollowed-out 910-pound pumpkin was posted by his wife on Facebook.
“My husband kayaks for fun so he just decided to see if he could kayak this pumpkin, which made for great entertainment,” Justin’s wife Christin Ownby told Storyful.
Justin said growing pumpkins has been a hobby for him for the past couple years, and he’s constantly striving for “the big one.”
After obtaining a seedling from a pumpkin that set the Tennessee state record at 1,700 pounds last year, he was finally able to grow his dream gourd.
The inspiration came from a documentary he saw on giant pumpkins years ago, and ever since, he’s hoped to enter one of his own to compete in the state fair.
“I thought it would be something fun to try out, and so I began doing it and like I said, I didn’t have much success before, but this year for some reason, I guess the weather was right, everything came together,” said Justin
Justin chuckled as he recalled transforming the massive pumpkin into a single-person aquatic craft.
“People would ask ‘what are you gonna do with this huge pumpkin?’ and I thought how funny would it be to carve it out into a boat,” recalled Justin.
While the boat seemed to float well in the pond, Justin said they left the pumpkin to sink to the bottom to become a fall feast for the fishes.
Justin already has his sights set on bigger fish and bigger pumpkins as he hopes to break 1,000 pounds for next year’s harvest.