Colin and Donna Craig-Brown were working in their New Zealand garden in late August. They were removing unwanted plants when they found something strange.
After a little digging, Colin discovered there was a very large potato growing in his garden. And they did not even plant potatoes!
How large was the potato?
“We couldn’t believe it,” Donna said. “It was just huge.”
The couple worked the potato out of the soil and brought it to a scale.
It weighed almost 8 kilograms.
That’s about the same as a small dog.
The potato may be the largest ever recorded.
Guinness keeps a list of world records. In 2011, a large potato from Great Britain weighed just under 5 kilograms. The New Zealand potato, now named Doug, could break the record.
The Craig-Browns asked Guinness to recognize their potato as the largest ever. They are waiting to hear back from the organization.
The potato has become famous in the town of Hamilton. Colin built a small cart to take Doug on walks around the neighborhood.
“We put a hat on him. We put him on Facebook, taking him for a walk, giving him some sunshine,” Colin said. “It’s all a bit of fun. It’s amazing what entertains people.”
Colin said he does not have any special gardening methods to pass on. Normally, he and his wife fertilize their garden with waste from cows and dried grasses. The Craig-Browns were growing cucumbers in that part of the garden, so they were surprised to find a potato. It may have been growing for two years or more.
The potato is getting a little old now, two months after it was taken from the ground. It smells bad. Right now, it is in the freezer.
But it might not stay that way forever. Colin said Doug’s future may be as the main ingredient in alcohol.
I’m Dan Friedell.
*Editor's note: The original version of this story mistakenly attributed a quote to Doug, instead of Colin. We apologize for the error.
Dan Friedell adapted this story for Learning English based on a report by Nick Perry of The Associated Press. Susan Shand was the editor.
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Words in This Story
garden– n. an area of ground where plants (such as flowers or vegetables) are grown
scale – n. a device that is used for weighing people or things
cart – n. a small wheeled vehicle that is pushed or pulled
fertilize – v. to make (soil, land, etc.) richer and better able to support plant growth by adding chemicals or a natural substance (such as manure)
cucumber – n. a long vegetable with dark green skin and crisp flesh that is often used in salads or for making pickles
freezer – n. a device or room for freezing food or keeping it frozen