BENSON – Jim Seamons is president of the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers and is an award-winning squash grower known for his big pumpkins. His pick-your-own pumpkin patch has another draw to bring people to his Benson farm.
The fifth-generation farmer developed a Frankenstein head mold for pumpkins. He takes the mold and fastens it on the pumpkin and they grow into it, giving the pumpkin the shape of the mold. He also puts the mold under a pumpkin, and as the pumpkin grows a face appears on it.
“I contacted a guy in China that makes the molds,” he said. “I sent him some money and I thought I’d been scammed, but months later they finally came.”
He said using them is harder than they look. He said he usually puts them on three different pumpkins to get one that works.
“I can’t keep them in. People see them and want them and most really don’t worry about the price,” he said. “I sell them for $75 a piece and $50 for shipping and most people don’t care what they cost, they want them.”
The person who makes the molds wanted to have videos of the pumpkin faces. Seamons couldn’t upload the video and send it because of data restraints, so he put the video on TikTok and it went viral.
“My TikTok video got 127,000 followers and the one has been seen just on my page over 27 million times,” he said. “I have 1,000 names on a waiting list for the Frankenstein head pumpkins.”
Next year’s list is already growing. He said his giants and molded heads are a good draw to get people to his pumpkin patch. They can either pick their own or buy what is already picked.
“I think I am the only grower in Utah that has the mold,” Seamons added. “I know of two other growers in the country that use molds. There is a guy in California and one in Tennessee or Kentucky that uses them.”
He had someone in Las Vegas who heard about his Frankenstein heads. She drove up to see them and took three home. She decorates for events and is hoping to have more next year. Another person in Los Angeles wants some grown specifically for one of her clients. He said he has orders from every state except Hawai’i.
“If I stick with it, I think the molded pumpkin market will grow,” Seamons said. “The hardest part is getting them out of the molds without breaking them.”
The Benson farmer has been working with the molds for a couple of years now and he thinks he has finally found tricks to getting the pumpkins out of the molds safely.
“Last year, we sold out of all our pumpkins,” he said. “The thing is, growing pumpkins is a pretty labor intensive thing. I check on them at least twice a day.”
He sees a time when the pumpkins will rival his horse hay for profits. Seamons grows a specialized hay just for horses. He has also tried his hand at pumpkin carving.
“I’ve carved a couple of pumpkins. I’m still learning,” he said. “Good carvers can make some serious money,” he added.
Seamons said if you can carve he’d like to hear from you.
Seamons has plans to keep improving his pumpkin patch and growing hay for horses on his 100-acre ground his father and grandfather both worked.
“The thing about agriculture is Mother Nature can wipe it out in one year,” he said. “We always hope next year will be a better year.”