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Agriculture Today

Sharing his secret of success

Sharing his secret of success
Loyd McAfee displays the 41-pound cushaw squash he grew on his patio.

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Wilson County News
July 18, 2012
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Anyone talking to Wilson County resident Loyd McAfee, 89, knows he enjoys life. “Life is great,” he says, and his positive thinking is contagious.

Today, McAfee is on a mission to try to beat a record for growing cushaw squash, and this year he almost tied the second-heaviest record, a 42-pound squash grown in Kentucky in 2008. However, the Kentucky state record for a cushaw is 57 pounds!

The cushaw, also known as potato cushaw squash, produces 10 to 20 pounds of squash, and is planted after the last freeze. McAfee planted around the end of March, and what a harvest!

His squash weighed in at 41 pounds, 24 pounds heavier than one he harvested last year, weighing 17 pounds. The squash in the photo is just one of four growing on a vine on his patio.

McAfee gives credit for the squash’s size to using “Spray-N-Grow,” a vitamin for plants. He purchased a gallon four years ago, and said he wanted to give himself a whipping for not using it sooner.

He also used Spray-N-Grow on his blackberries, with similar success. Just one blackberry measures 1-1/4 inches long.

A blackberry producer for 18 years, McAfee has reduced his crop from six, 50-foot rows, to only two rows this year. He said he sells everything he can grow.

The makers of Spray-N-Grow are interested in his “jumbo” squash and berries, he said.

“Life is positive and beautiful,” McAfee said, adding that “nothing is so good ... that it can’t be improved.”

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