Big find

Mon­ster sweet potato dis­cov­ery

Broome Advertiser - - Front Page - Glenn Cord­ing­ley

It’s not a world record but this sweet potato would have to be among the big­gest ever grown in the Kim­ber­ley.

The mon­ster 4.97kg spud grew from a tiny seed planted in a veg­etable plot about four months ago by a work for the dole crew on land within the Goolara­booloo/ Mil­li­bin­yarri na­tive ti­tle of­fice in Broome.

Site su­per­vi­sor Ron­ald Roe said he could not be­lieve his eyes when the gi­ant root veg­etable was ex­ca­vated from a plot of pin­dan by worker Fergus Reid us­ing a mat­tock and pitch fork.

Mr Roe puts the ex­cep­tional size down to a home­grown fer­tiliser us­ing fruit ex­tracts.

“I mix-up a few dif­fer­ent juices that act as a fer­tiliser,” he said.

“I make some of my own sweet fruit juices us­ing a tech­nique that de­rive from in­dige­nous mi­cro-or­gan­isms. I have been read­ing about nat­u­ral farm­ing and have been mix­ing sweet fruit juice with cit­rus juice us­ing lemons and mel­ons. I pour that into the soil and hey presto — it works re­ally well and seems to have stim­u­lated a bit of growth with this sweet potato.”

The sweet potato (Ipo­moea batatas) was grown by work for the dole re­cip­i­ents sourced by the Broome-based Nir­rum­buk Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion.

Mr Roe said it was now time to turn over a new leaf and look to the next crop.

“The pump­kins are start­ing to flower and are al­ready show­ing promis­ing signs but we need a lit­tle help from na­ture,” he said.

“I’m go­ing to get some bees in, other­wise we will have to pol­li­nate them by hand. It’s a good ar­range­ment, the bloke will drop off the hives and col­lect the honey and I get to keep the bees here to pol­li­nate the crops.

“The ba­nanas are also do­ing well and we are ready to wrap up the fruits so they can ripen up.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Guin­ness Book of Records, the world’s heav­i­est sweet potato was 37kg on March 8, 2004, and grown by Manuel Perez Perez in Spain.

Pic­ture: Glenn Cord­ing­ley

Goolara­booloo rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ron­ald Roe and Fergus Reid with the gi­ant sweet potato.

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