PINK HILL, N.C. (WNCT) — The North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh is right around the corner, and one Pink Hill resident is eager to get there for their weigh-off for his massive pumpkin and watermelon.

For nearly 25 years, Donald Murphy has been growing massive watermelons and pumpkins to bring to the fair. He hopes this year he’ll bring home a top prize.

“Somebody started a neighborhood contest to see who could grow the biggest watermelon and about ten heads of us put up a whole dollar apiece and we were going to let the winner take the whole $10,” said Murphy. “So we grew one and my first one weighed 118 pounds, which I won with it and then we kept getting bigger and bigger.”

(Claire Curry, WNCT photo)

Even though this is just his hobby, Murphy has been trying different methods to grow the largest watermelons and pumpkins around.

“I use some really old chicken house litter and some rotten cotton residue,” said Murphy. “What it is, let’s see, when they take the cotton to the mill they have a lot of scraps left out of it and that’s what this is and I add a little fertilizer about once a week.”

This year, he’s been tending to his pumpkin and watermelon since June. His pumpkin weighs around 700 pounds and his watermelon around 200, he thinks.

(Claire Curry, WNCT photo)

This upcoming week, he’ll be competing against growers from all across the country. 

“Trying to get a part of my money back, and bragging rights. There’s a lot of people into this stuff,” said Murphy.

He said he’ll continue to cross-pollinate his giant produce and enter the contest year after year.

“Well, I’m gonna grow and probably till I croak. it’s just it’s fun ya know?” said Murphy.

The Great Pumpkin and Great Watermelon Weigh-Off at the fair is coming up this Tuesday.