Digging deep for spud champion
Matamata has plenty of people with green fingers.
Tried and true methods for growing potatoes were put to the test over the past few months, with people growing potatoes as part of Rotary Matamata’s annual Spud in a Bucket competition.
Rotarian Peter Thissen has won the competition in both 2013 and 2014 and regained his status as potato grower extraordinaire in 2017.
His heaviest crop of 7.212kg, contributed towards the overall weight of 107.27kg of potatoes.
Tina Troughton came in second, with a crop weighing 6.532kg.
Maz McIver was awarded a prize for having the smallest crop of 0.058g, earning her a bag of potato fertiliser to help her improve her next attempt.
Youngster Jack Ryan was up among the heavy weights, winning the junior section, with his crop weighing 6.784kg. He also won in 2016, with a crop of 3.549kg’s.
Rotary Matamata president Michelle Tanner said she was thrilled to see the community support the event and come to the weigh-in, despite the wet weather.
One of the potato growers who braved the weather was seven-yearold William Hine. The wee lad has entered the competition two years running and enjoys getting his fingers dirty in the garden.
His crop weighed in at 0.347g, coming in slightly behind his brother Lucas, whose potatoes weighed 0.454g.
The two brothers dressed to match the colour of their buckets, going as far as dying their hair blue and green.
A total of 120 buckets were sold this year and of that, 57 made it to the weigh in.
In 2016, a total of 63 buckets were handed in for weighing, with a total of 107.6kg’s of spuds collected. Last years overall winner was Carolyn Keyte, with weigh-in of 7.65kg.
The Matamata Chronicle took turns caring for the office entrant Colin the Potato. However, lush foliage is no indicator of a good crop. Colin and his siblings only weighed a meagre 0.334g.
The team is brain storming ways to ensure a heavier crop next year and welcome any suggestions.