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