Spud buckets yield top tater crops
It has been seven years in the making but Rotarian Peter Thissen has finally taken out the Spud in a Bucket competition – and he promises there were no shenanigans.
Mr Thissen’s crop of potatoes had to be cut free from his bucket and weighed in at a whopping 6.237kg. ‘‘ It’s taken me seven years to get this trophy,’’ he said after the weigh-in last Tuesday night.
‘‘I weighed in potatoes every year and each time I learned something.
‘‘I even learned tonight something I should have done and look forward to the next crop.’’
In second place was Mr Thissen’s wife, Ineke, with 5.558kg, and third was Rotarian David Wheadon, with 5.241kg.
Another Rotarian, Lachie Duncan, grew the biggest potato, which weighed in at 780 grams, and 12-year-old Maisey Bennett won the children’s category.
Spud in the Bucket is an annual competition run by the Rotary Club of Matamata and all proceeds go towards local and international projects.
Contestants plant their seeds at Labour weekend and weigh their crops in early March.
About $1000 was raised this year, with about 100 buckets sold and a record 67 crops weighed in.
Members of Matamata Lions and Matamata Kiwanis enter each year and this was the first time it was also open to the public.
Rotary always had a bit of fun with the competition, Mr Thissen said.
‘‘We make it up as we go along,’’ he said. ‘‘Sometimes someone will have a funny potato so we will name the ugliest potato or the lightest potato.
‘‘One time we had someone fill their bucket with dirt and when we got to the bottom there was just a bag of potato chips.’’
Unwanted potatoes have been donated to the Matamata Food Bank.
Rotary would like to thank Daltons, Kaimai Garden Centre and Mitre 10 for providing the buckets, soil and seeds.
Green fingers: Aleisha Tong was fourth, Keegan Wise was second and Maisey Bennett was the winner in the children’s category.
Biggest harvest: Rotarian Peter Thissen with his crop of potatoes, which weighed in at a whopping 6.237 kilograms.