The Boston Public Market’s newest visitors arrived by forklift.
The 1,800 pound “pumpking” — and 500 pound “pumpqueen” — rolled off a Red Apple Farm truck into the Hanover Street food hall on Wednesday morning. There, the gargantuan gourds will squat for the season, to bring masked market-goers a smile and serve as a reminder of seasonal joy in a year otherwise marked by devastation.
“How do you grow this? It’s a lot of organics in the soil … and a lot of water. A lot. Each day, it’s 50 gallons,” said grower Art Kaczenski.
He said the plump pair are the two biggest special-seed pumpkins of the six he grew this season.
The pumpkin processional began at 11:30 a.m., thanks to a piece of bright green Mitsubishi machinery. A two-man crew helped navigate the gentle giants from behind Haymarket Pizza, across the busy intersection, and into the southeast corner of the market.
During the short, (very) slow ride, passing drivers gawked, and outdoor diners at multicolored metal tables looked up from their meals. At least one couple watched the ride from start to finish, shooting photos with their phones while clutching coffees.
The Public Market has hosted giant pumpkins in fall every year since it opened in 2015. But this year’s heavyweight, spokeswoman Mary DiLeo said, is a beast like no other.
“This is the biggest one we’ve ever had,” she explained.
Unlike in the pre-pandemic era, visitors are not allowed to touch or climb the pumpkins. Instead, the orange orbs serve as more of a “selfie spot,” DiLeo said.