Green-fingered grandfather grows giant cabbage

Photo from WalesOnline shows five-year-old Paris Vowles with her grandfather’s colossal cabbage.

The photograph stretched across the front page of this Saturday’s South Wales Echo is guaranteed to catch your eye – a little girl leans on a wheelbarrow overflowing with the biggest cabbage you’ve ever seen.

Just one glance and I’m compelled to turn to the full article on page three. The story unfolds that retired gardener and farmer from Llanharry, Phillip Vowles, has managed to produce a colossal 111lb cabbage.

With a span of five foot, the 62-year-old grandfather struggles to fit the giant vegetable into his truck (and probably gets some funny looks once he hits the road, too)!

The little girl leaning on the wheelbarrow in the photograph is Phillip’s five-year-old granddaughter, Paris Vowles, also of Llanharry. Paris loves to help her grandfather tend to his allotment at the back of his house – and to eat the vegetables, of course!

Last year, Phillip grew an 80lb cabbage, and so he is no doubt pleased with his new attempt, which he describes as, “a massive specimen.” However, he’ll have to try harder if he’s to beat Steve Hubacek, from Alaska, who grew the world’s heaviest cabbage, at 125.5lbs.

When it comes to growing big cabbages, Phillip says the secret’s in the seed. He doesn’t use any special methods, but he keeps the seeds and replants them every year. They are of the Tex variety of cabbage, known for growing big.

Just how Phillip plans to eat his way through all that cabbage is anyone’s guess, and it’s no surprise the Echo popped the question.

“I’ll be cutting it up and probably giving it to the local pub so that customers can enjoy it,” Phillip reveals. “But if anyone has any better ideas and would like, for instance, to auction it for charity, I would be pleased to help.”

Disappointing, really. I was kind of hoping he might just live off cabbage for the next few months – now that would make for an interesting follow-up story.

Photo is copyrighted to WalesOnline/South Wales Echo.

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