Pumpkins have been a major part of Pete’s life. As a commercial farmer in Denver, Colorado he raised field pumpkins for the local school children. In the 1980s while browsing through seed catalogs he noticed Dills Atlantic Giant Pumpkin seeds. The seed was planted!
In search of the best growing conditions for Giant Pumpkins Pete and his wife Cindi moved to Washington state (Sequim) , then to Oregon . Along the way he made friends with many of the growers in the Pacific Northwest.
In the end the Glasiers moved to Napa, Ca where Pete now set the state record of 1535.5. He has become a mentor to many of the next generation of pumpkin growers in Napa and believes Napa is the home to more Giant Pumpkin Growers than anywhere in the world.
Besides growing giant pumpkins Pete’s interests are also physical fitness, vegetarianism, animal rights and environmental issues.
By Dick Wallace:
JOHN STARTED GROWING GIANT PUMPKINS IN THE LATE NINTEEN EIGHTIES AFTER RETIRING FROM HIS CASTELLUCCI GRANITE COMPANY.
IT IS FAIR TO SAY MOST GIANT PUMPKIN GROWERS ARE KIND AND GENEROUS PEOPLE HOWEVER, JOHN WENT ABOVE AND BEYOND FOR ANY AND EVERYONE HE CAME IN CONTACT WITH. PROBABLY THE MOST GENEROUS GROWER MOST WILL EVER MEET.
JOHN PERSONALLY FINANCED THE START OF THE THEN RHODE ISLAND GIANT PUMPKIN GROWERS ASSOCIATION. MANY TIMES PAYING FOR AWARDS AS WELL AS OPENING HIS FARM TO ALL VISITORS ON WEIGH OFF DAY. HE ALSO WENT ON TO WIN THE RI CHAMPIONSHIP FIVE TIMES DURING HIS LONG AN LUSTROUS QUEST FOR A GIANT PUMPKIN.
JOHN RETIRED SEVERAL YEARS BACK DUE TO KNEE PROBLEMS AND A BAD BACK FROM ALL THOSE YEARS WORKING IN THE GRANITE BUSINESS.
HE STILL ATTENDS THE SNGPG WEIGH OFFS AND HAS A YEARLY TROPHY NAMED IN HIS HONOR.
“THE CASTELLUCCI CUP” IS GIVEN EACH YEAR TO THE STATES TOP GROWER.
I reside near Salem, Ohio with my wife Sheila. We have two children and a grandson. We own Parks Garden Center near Canfield, Ohio specializing in gardening supplies, birdseed, greenhouse production and fall crops (thousands of mums and acres of gourds and Halloween pumpkins). A wholesale nursery facility in Lake County, Ohio rounds out the business. I enjoy waterfowl hunting with my family and black Labrador retriever.
In 1995, Parks Garden Center was awarded a weigh-off site by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth. The founding directors of the Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers were myself, Ron Moffett, Dick Baird, Jack Lanterman and Alan Gibson. Our membership has grown into one of the world’s premier giant pumpkin clubs.
These past twenty-three years, I have served the club as president and site coordinator. I am the master of ceremonies for our weigh-off, advanced seminar and summer tour- picnic. I teach the “Beginner’s Seminar” and have developed several chemical- fertilizer programs that are widely used. The garden center conducts its annual chemical- fertilizer sale for growers in the region.
In 1997, I was appointed a director of the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth. During my eight years of service, I was charged with tabulating the GPC weigh-off results and mailing plaques to the sites. During those years, we created the foundation for the GPC as we know it today. We were looking for fair play with the emphasis on the growers.
In 2006, I was elected to the GPC “Hall of Fame”- the youngest member ever selected. I have also introduced fellow “Hall of Famers” Quinn Werner, Dave Stelts and Alan Gibson.
Parks Garden Center has been a sponsor of the Canfield Fair pumpkin weigh-off. I have won the championships at the Canfield Fair and Barnesville Pumpkin Festival. I have placed in the top three at the OVGPG’s prestigious weigh-off on five occasions. My 1571-pound pumpkin was featured in “Smithsonian Magazine”. My personal best is 1670 pounds.
Here are some of my opening remarks before our 2016 weigh-off: “A common question we are asked is- How long does it take to grow one of those? The answer: we start seeds in April, transplant in May, pollinate in June and pick in October. It occurred to me that is not accurate. Not even close to accurate. It takes twenty-three years to grow a pumpkin that big. You see, that’s how long the club has been hosting educational events and weigh-offs. Without organizations like the Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers, we as growers would not have achieved the astronomical weight gains we have in the past twenty-three years.”