SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – In 2006, Gary Adams was watching television with his son, and a program featuring giant pumpkins came on. Little did Adams know what would follow. Fast forward thirteen years, to 2019, where the Lafayette native has built an entire resume on the backs of one giant pumpkin after another. Adams did not find his passion for gardening with pumpkins, however. From gourds, to tomatoes, to potatoes, Adams has experimented in the garden for much of his life. But it wasn’t until he discovered pumpkins when his hobby really sprouted. Inspired by the television show, Adams tracked down a local pumpkin grower, purchased some of his seeds, and embarked on a journey that would eventually lead to fame, success, and even love.
Gary Adams does not grow pumpkins full time. In fact, it’s a hobby. A time-consuming hobby, but a hobby nonetheless. When he’s not in the pumpkin patch, Adams actually owns and operates his own plumbing company. But it’s clear his heart lies in the pumpkin patch. Five years after premiering in the pumpkin business, Adams produced the largest pumpkin in the entire state of New York, weighing 1,613.5 pounds. That monster pumpkin would later be purchased by the New York Giants, where it was carved and presented at halftime of a Giants game in 2011. Just a year later, Adams produced a pumpkin that weighed 1,634.5 pounds, the heaviest pumpkin he’s ever grown.
Having competed in countless weigh-offs, some local, some national, and even international, Adams has cultivated not only a deep understanding, but an appreciation for his pumpkins and the pumpkin-growing community as a whole. One fellow member of the pumpkin-growing community lives very close to Adams. In the same house, in fact.
Gary Adams met his wife, Kathy, in 2008 at a real estate auction. Happily married ever since, the Adams family has bonded over their passion for gardening, and for pumpkins. Their home in Lafayette is surrounded by pumpkin patches, with Kathy tending to one adjacent to Gary’s. Kathy specializes in the beauty pumpkins while Gary likes going for the heaviest in show.
This weekend, Gary will provide four of his giant pumpkins for the pumpkin race at the Onondaga Regatta. He will attend the Regatta himself and assist in carving out the pumpkins to the point where they are ready to set sail.
“Hopefully they have fun,” Adams said.