Dig­ging deep for spud cham­pion

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

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.

Peter Thissen.

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