20 Giant Vegetable Facts from Malvern Autumn Show

20 Giant Vegetable Facts from Malvern Autumn Show
Print this article

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Malvern Autumn Show returns this September with a feast of family entertainment, artisan produce, and food and gardening royalty.

The UK National Giant Vegetable Championship will be headlining bigger and better than ever before. Along with sensational seasonal chef Valentine Warner and Otter Farm’s Mark Diacono, crowds will flock to wonder at the broad variety of oversized vegetables on display in this record-breaking area of the show.   

  1. The world’s largest Marrow weighed in at over 14st, that’s equivalent to the weight of sporting Rugby legend, Jonny Wilkinson. Current world record holder, Brad Wursten from the Netherlands smashed this record in 2009.
  2. Snoop Dog, the infamous American rapper, once scooped up some growing advice from Malvern Autumn Shows’ very own Record Breaking veg grower, Ian Neale. Snoop congratulated Ian on his record-breaking Swede, giving him VIP tickets to his tour.
  3. The world’s largest White Truffle, a 1.5kg beast, sold for £160,000 at Sotheby’s New York in 2014.
  4. Roald Dahl’s nostalgic childhood classic James and The Giant Peach, was originally going to be a giant cherry, but became a peach because Roald considered a peach “prettier, bigger and squishier than a cherry”.
  5. A humongous fungus in Oregon is the world’s biggest living organism. The monster mushroom, popularly known as the honey fungus, can be found in The Blue Mountains in Oregan. The giant fungus stretches 3.5 miles, covering an area as big as 1,665 football fields.
  6. Malvern Autumn Show regular, Peter Glazebrook is famed for growing a colossal cauliflower weighing in at 60lb, measuring 6ft wide. That’s an unbe-leaf-able 20 times heavier than your average supermarket staple.
  7. Some vegetables are better suited to growing to enormous sizes. These include the Mammoth Zeppelin Cucumber, Super Heavyweight Hybrid Pepper, Atlantic Giant Pumpkin, Old Colossus Heirloom Tomato and the Carolina Cross Watermelon to name but a few.
  8. The world’s longest carrot measured in at 5.83 metres – that’s the equivalent to the length of one and a half Mini Coopers. Its grower, Joe Atherton is a Malvern Autumn Show regular and is hoping to smash another world record this year.
  9. Most giant vegetables are grown for bragging rights alone and are not usually eaten. Many growers are known to donate their veg to people with rabbit or horses, and the swede and beetroots go to livestock.
  10. Vegetable grower star Peter Glazebrook is famed for his giant onion, an eye watering 8.16kg crier, weighing the equivalent of a Canada Goose.
  11. Giant vegetables are not just enormous in size, but also often unrecognisable to their namesake variety – these are not just any vegetables, these are GIANT vegetables!
  12. The world’s largest tomato, owned by Antonio Martone and measuring a giant 15 inches, began life as a simple seed sent to him by his family in Naples.
  13. Giant vegetables aren’t grown, they’re nurtured. Brought to size in specially designed greenhouses and polytunnels complete with thermometers, automated irrigation systems and infrared cameras.
  14. In the Wallace and Gromit movie The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, the fictional village of Tottington Hall’s annual Giant Vegetable Competition comes under threat from the bunny beast and the citizens take it very seriously.
  15. Time for a tipple or two as giant watermelons make a great wine.
  16. With the process of growing giant vegetables, growers are effectively trying to burst the vegetable. Bringing it to almost breaking point, before carefully transporting the monster produce to shows across the country.
  17. Giant vegetable growers are constantly fine-tuning their individual techniques, but for the most part, they spend three months of the year preparing their land for giant things to come, and the other nine coaxing seeds into big guns.
  18. The skills of growing giant veg are more closely guarded by the top growers than the crown jewels!
  19. Pharmacy staple Asprin is just what the doctor ordered for curing the grower’s nemesis of stem rot in marrows. 
  20. Each year the UK Giant Vegetable Championship is held at the Malvern Autumn Show, separating the men from the boys in the oversized vegetable world. This area of the show smashed two vegetable Guinness World Records last year with a giant cabbage weighing in at over 130lb and a scale breaking 1,200lb pumpkin both by Cornishman, David Thomas. 

A mountain of monster veg can be seen at the Malvern Autumn Show, which takes place on Saturday 26 September and Sunday 27 September at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern. Tickets are now on sale. Advanced tickets are priced at £15.50 for adults and £5.50 for children. Tickets are available on the gate at £18 for adults and £7 for children. Family and group tickets are available. For information on ticket prices, please visit www.malvernautumnshow.co.uk or call 01684 230128.