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Irish Grandad won't reveal secret at root of his giant vegetable

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Harry Crowley with his grandson Conor, 11 months, and his giant marrow. Walkinstown, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Harry Crowley with his grandson Conor, 11 months, and his giant marrow. Walkinstown, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Harry Crowley with his grandson Conor, 11 months, and his giant marrow. Walkinstown, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Weighing in at more than five and a half stone this is Ireland's largest vegetable marrow.

Grown by Henry Crowley from Walkinstown, the marrow was planted in mid-April. It is half the age of his 11-month-old grandson Conor, but five times heavier.

"I can't lift it myself," said Henry.

"There are two of us struggling to lift it. I put it on a big sack and two of us grab the corners and we have to carry it on that," he added.

It is not the only oversized vegetable that Henry has grown.

"I have grown a 10ft 7in carrot, a parsnip the same size and had a 3.5lb potato and a 39in runner bean," said Mr Crowley.

Heavy

He also has a cabbage that is still in the ground and is so large that he does not know what to do with it.

"It is four foot in diameter. It's so heavy that I cannot weigh it and I don't know how to take it out of the ground."

However, his pride and joy is a radish that once featured in a popular gardening magazine in the UK.

"I have been in the Amateur Garden Magazine twice and had a radish in that was almost 15ft long," he said proudly.

However, it is the marrow that is currently the centre of attention in the Crowley household, along with grandson Conor.

Patch

It is one of 39 different types of vegetable that are growing in Henry's patch and he treats all of them with considerable care.

"I have four types of beans, different types of cabbages and if I grow 39 vegetables I expect to have 39 achievements," he said.

He pulled the marrow from the ground a week ago and said that it is too big to eat.

"I like to scoop the seeds out of the inside of them and fill them with minced meat, onion and breadcrumbs, wrap them in tin foil and bake them in the oven," he said

"You can make jam out of them too but you couldn't eat a marrow that big. I'm going to put it out to seed," he added.

He said that the key to such growth is in the minerals that he puts in the ground but he would not divulge all of them. "That's a secret," Mr Crowley said.

hnews@herald.ie

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