Spud buck­ets yield top tater crops

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART ni­cola.ste­wart@wrcn.co.nz

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.

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