Huge vegetable: a 7.9 kg New Zealand potato may set a world record

A giant 7.9kg potato found in a New Zealand couple’s overgrown garden may set a new world record for the largest of its kind ever to be discovered.

Colin and Donna Craig-Brown were doing a spot of weeding in their Hamilton back yard, when Colin’s hoe hit something below the ground.

“So I said to Donna this must be one of those white kūmara (sweet potato) that we grew,” he told Stuff, “because some of them just grew massive here.”

He tasted it, discovered it was potato and set about excavating it from the soil.

The bulbous tuber weighs the same as an extra-large turkey and would exceed the allowance for check-in luggage. The couple named their new discovery Doug, and have grown pretty fond of him.

“We put a hat on him. We put him on Facebook, taking him for a walk, giving him some sunshine,” Colin told the NZ Herald. “It’s all a bit of fun. It’s amazing what entertains people.”

The current Guinness world records entry for the heaviest potato is a 2011 specimen found in Britain, that weighed in at just under 5kg. The couple say they’ve applied to Guinness to have Doug recognised and are waiting to hear back.

The couple could not recall when they last planted potatoes in their garden, but guessed it must have been about two or three years ago. Colin thinks perhaps Doug self-seeded.

“It’s a mystery to me,” Colin said. “It’s one of nature’s little pleasant surprises.”

“It’s fair to say our veggie garden can sometimes get a bit feral. There are some parts of the garden you need to pack a lunch and advise your next of kin before heading in to,” he told Stuff.

The couple have wrapped Doug in plastic bags to keep him from drying out, and Colin, an amateur brewer, says he is now keen to turn the oversized tuber into vodka.

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