Along the banks of the Tye River in Nelson County sits a pumpkin patch like none other.
"Oh Gosh!" screams William Layton, struggling to move a nearly 400-pound pumpkin.
On a piece of land in Tyro, Layton has grown some mighty gourds.
"I have a pumpkin that is approaching 300 pounds, but it's just a small one," Layton said.
Layton specializes in growing giant vegetables, specifically pumpkins.
"Some of them get as big as bushel baskets," said Layton.
It's a hobby he admits has become an addiction.
"In my first year I grew one that was 220 pounds and I was hooked," Layton said.
Growing large pumpkins doesn't take as long as you might think. Layton says he grew one to 400 pounds in less than 30 days.
Layton spends hours tending to his patch, using any bit of free time he gets from his regular job as a home builder.
"It's something that keeps him out of trouble, because he has to take care of it like a baby, twice a day," said Layton's wife, Sheila.
Layton's efforts have paid off. One of his pumpkins set a state record in 2007. He was hoping to top himself this year.
"I had a lot of hope, but the weather, the earthquakes, and everything had me real nervous," said Layton.
Despite mother nature, Layton managed to grow a nearly 1,200-pound beast.
"In 30 days the pumpkin went from the size of a quarter to 510 pounds," Layton said.
He was hoping it would last until the Virginia State Fair in two weeks, but rains from Hurricane Lee caused it to rot.
"Pretty much drove a stake through my heart," said Layton.
But he's not letting that slow him down.
"I'd like to beat the world record, which is 1,850 pounds," said Layton.