File photo

Bryan Meyer stands next to the remains of the first smashed fiberglass pumpkin in this photograph from 2010.

Perhaps when it comes to giant fiberglass pumpkins, the third time’s the charm.

Meyer’s Farm Market has entered fundraising mode to help piece back together its iconic silo-topper, the second one to come down in as many years during a powerful thunderstorm in 2011.

The market, located on M-H Townline Road, had been synonymous with the giant orange smiling pumpkin for seven years and was an eye-catcher for travelers on Interstate 39/90.

Owner Bryan Meyer said his wife, Cyndi, started a campaign to repair the pumpkin on the fundraising website Rally.org. He said pulling together the money to repair the pumpkin was difficult after last year’s drought took its toll on their crops.

“We’re constantly asked if and when we’re going to do anything with it,” Bryan Meyer said. “Economically, it’s been difficult to make that commitment again. (The fundraiser is) just a way of maybe helping us get it done sooner than later.”

The original 3,700-pound, 22-foot-wide fiberglass pumpkin was first placed atop the market’s 65-foot-tall silo in 2004. On Aug. 20, 2010, a fast-moving storm with 70-mph wind gusts knocked the pumpkin off its perch, breaking into pieces.

Ten months later, a replacement pumpkin arrived and was lifted with a crane to the top of the silo. This time, the pumpkin lasted just shy of two weeks before winds dislodged it from its anchors, according to Milton Courier archives.

“It’s just like anything else fiberglass; It is repairable,” Meyer said. “We have an option of building a new one or fixing that last pumpkin. Engineering and structurally-wise, it doesn’t make much of a difference.”

This time, however, the anchor points for the pumpkin will be different, Meyer said. The first pumpkin was not anchored to the silo, but the second one was.

“Ironically, we had the worst storm in my lifetime,” Meyer said of the second pumpkin’s demise. “That was quite a wind shear.”

Two different outside engineers have made similar recommendations on better ways to mount the pumpkin to the silo. He said cosmetically, the pumpkin would not look any different with a better mounting system.

Meyer said repairing the second pumpkin instead of replacing it outright would be cheaper. He anticipates it would cost roughly $23,000 to make repairs while a new one would cost “well over $30,000.”

He said he didn’t have a specific timeline for replacing the pumpkin, but it will take a couple of months to repair the pumpkin and get it in place.

For more information about the project or to contribute to the repairs, visit rally.org/fixthegiantpumpkin.

Managing Editor of the Milton Courier

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