The Miller family has had an excellent year with their garden of melons and gourds of different kinds. They have 100-pound watermelons and pumpkins, as well as 40-pound cantaloupes in their garden on the Southeast edge of Newton.

They entered many things in the state fair this year, and Robert Miller received a special governors' award for his watermelon Thursday.

The watermelon he will give the governor will be a smaller melon, not the nearly 100-pound one he entered.

They entered 43 categories at the state fair, and Robert Miller said he lost track of how many blue ribbons they have won so far. But getting the governor's award for his watermelon is special.

Miller, along with his son Justin, and wife, Cindy, have been working on this farm for the past five years, though they have garden longer than that.

Robert Miller said the watermelon judging was partly on size and partly on appearance. His 98-pound melon was the fifth largest entered.

They also won blue ribbons for jalapeņos and other hot peppers.

They decorated a pumpkin with a breast cancer awareness theme, and that also won a blue ribbon at the state fair.

He said there isn't really a secret to growing huge watermelons. One key is to cut the plant back and have only one melon per plant, and to do all the normal things one does with plants to help them grow.

They sell their produce at the Newton farmers market, and sometimes people come out and buy pumpkins at their garden on S.E. 14th St. near Spencer Road.