EXCLUSIVE: Meet Ken Dade and his 10 stone marrow which has made it to the Guinness Book of Records
FOLLOWING a summer of world-beating Olympic performances, a Fenland vegetable grower has given record-writers one more mammoth achievement for their big book. Ken Dade, from Terrington St Clement, celebrated after receiving notification from Guinness Worl
FOLLOWING a summer of world-beating Olympic performances, a Fenland vegetable grower has given record-writers one more mammoth achievement for their big book.
Ken Dade, from Terrington St Clement, celebrated after receiving notification from Guinness World Records that his 10-stone marrow was officially the heaviest in history.
The gargantuan gourd weighed in at 141lbs and needed two men to lift it onto the display table at the National Amateur Gardening Show in Somerset this weekend.
Mr Dade, 70, said he had always grown food for his own table with his wife Sue, but honed his skill in breeding monster marrows as a hobby after retiring as an engineer at Masterfoods in King's Lynn 15 years ago.
"It is still sinking in, considering it is the heaviest ever grown and it has been done by someone in Terrington," he said. "There is nothing else like it. It is like winning an Olympic gold medal."
Mr Dade said there was no great secret to his success except years of experience and the superior soil drainage of the reclaimed marshland near The Wash.
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"If you cannot grow it in Terrington you won't grow it anywhere," he said.
"You need the right seed, plenty of enthusiasm and a good dollop of luck, then you pray for the weather.
"They need nice warm, humid weather and two hours rain twice a week. But you never get it ideal, you just have to ride the punches."
Mr Dade said the seeds he had painstakingly developed for 20 years were now the envy of all his rivals in the cut-throat world of giant vegetable growing.
"I cut one of my marrows open during the show and all the other growers flocked round - they're all after my seed now, you can't buy it in the shops.
"I don't look back on my achievements, I look back on what I've learned. That's how you improve.