POWELL, Ohio (WCMH) – If there’s one name that has become synonymous with the Circleville Pumpkin Show, it’s Dr. Bob Liggett. He’s a prolific pumpkin grower who along with his wife, Jo, has produced some of the biggest gourds that “Roundtown” has ever seen.

For years, a rumor has been circulating that one of the secrets to his success is in the soil. A special fertilizer if you will, provided by his son, Dave, straight from the Columbus Zoo.

It turns out that the “zoo poo” urban legend is true.

“My dad is famous for his giant pumpkins. He has been growing pumpkins for around 30 years now,” said Dave.

Dave has worked at the zoo since 1989 and has helped his dad become number 1 by supplying him with “number 2”.

Years ago, Dr. Liggett asked his son about using elephant poop to make his pumpkin grow bigger and stronger. After talking to then head keeper at the pachyderms, Harry Peachey, he opted for rhino poop instead.

“Because the rhinos have a more efficient digestive tract, there would be less weed seed coming up in your pumpkin patch with rhino poop versus elephant poop,” said Daver.

Based on his success through the years, it’s working.

“He’s always trying to improve the soil, usually in the fall he’s starting to get the patch ready for next spring,” said Dave.

And as it turns out, some of those prize pumpkins might end up in the yards of central Ohioans through a special compost called “Zoo Brew”, being made at Price Farms Organics.

“So last year, the winner of the pumpkin show was my dad’s 1,837.5-pound pumpkin. He brought it up to my house and we put it on our front lawn. We decorated it for Halloween, but after that you have to get rid of it,” said Dave. “So, we called Price Farms to ask them if they took pumpkins for their composting and they said ‘ yes, how many?’ I said just one. But I had to make two trips with my vehicle to get all the pumpkin there.”

To learn more about the Circleville Pumpkin Show and to see some of Bob & Jo Liggett’s winning pumpkins, visit https://www.pumpkinshow.com/ 

To find out more about getting your hands on “Zoo Brew”, visit https://pricefarms.org/