Simon Southwell is not afraid of monsters. In fact, he loves them — especially if they pop up from the dirt and weigh close to a half-tonne.
The enterprising 12-year-old with autism delivered a 700-lb pumpkin on Saturday to a Toronto buyer — one of nine orange behemoths Simon has sold this season, gargantuan gourds grown on the hobby farm where he lives with his mother outside of Beaverton, Ont.
Now in his third year in business, Simon’s entrepreneurial mindset is earning him expert acclaim. Last winter, he attended an entrepreneurship program at the Brock Youth Centre. The program was for 15 to 29-year-olds, but they made an exception for 12-year-old Simon, who kept up with the high-school level finance lessons.