Nothing To See Here, Just The World's Largest Potato

Doug the spud has become something of a celebrity.
via Associated Press

A couple grew a potato that’s so large, they believe it’s beaten the current world record.

Colin and Donna Craig-Brown from New Zealand were weeding their garden at their small farm near Hamilton when his hoe struck something huge just beneath the soil’s surface.

As the couple knelt down and began digging around the object, Colin wondered if it was some kind of strange fungal growth, like a giant puffball. But after prying it out with his garden fork, he scratched away a bit of the skin and tasted it.

“We couldn’t believe it,” Donna said. “It was just huge.”

When the couple lugged the funny shaped potato into their garage and put it on an old set of scales, it weighed a remarkable 7.9kg. That is equal to a couple of sacks of regular potatoes or a small dog.

In the weeks since their find in August, the couple’s potato has become something of a celebrity around their small farm. They have named the potato Doug and have even built a small cart to tow it around.

Now that's a potato
Now that's a potato

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

A more official weigh-in at a local farming store put Doug at 7.8kg.

The current Guinness World Records entry for the heaviest potato is a 2011 monster from the UK that weighed in at just under 5kg. The couple say they have applied to have Doug recognised and are waiting to hear back.

Colin said he does not have any secret gardening tips. Usually they throw a bunch of cow manure and straw on to their garden and see what happens.

He said they had been growing cucumbers in that area of their garden before the weeds took over and had not planted any potatoes. Doug must have been self-sown and quite possibly growing for a couple of years or more.

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

Just a man and his potato
Just a man and his potato

But Doug has not proved easy to look after. As the couple showed the potato off, it began drying out and losing weight. Mould started growing from its wounds.

So Colin cleaned up Doug as best he could and put the potato in the freezer, where it remains.

But the couple may not be done with Doug yet. Colin, who is a home brewer, said he is keen to turn Doug into potato vodka.

Poor Doug.