Record-breaking spud crop at Langley Day of the Dig event

PUBLISHED: 09:26 21 October 2017

Langley Potato Grower 2017 winners Peter Parker and his wife Carol with their  bumper crop of 55 1/2 lbs potatoes from one seed potato. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Langley Potato Grower 2017 winners Peter Parker and his wife Carol with their bumper crop of 55 1/2 lbs potatoes from one seed potato. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Copyright © 2017 Celia Bartlett Photography (Archant commissioned freelance)

A village believes it has broken a record after a couple planted one single potato and got a spudtastic crop of 55 pounds and 11 ounces – enough spuds for 70 roast dinners.

Langley Potato Grower 2017 winners Peter Parker and his wife Carol - holding their largest potato - with their  bumper crop of 55 1/2 lbs potatoes from one seed potato. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYLangley Potato Grower 2017 winners Peter Parker and his wife Carol - holding their largest potato - with their bumper crop of 55 1/2 lbs potatoes from one seed potato. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

It’s believed that no one has got greater out of just one tater.

The same couple, Carol and Peter Parker also produced the heaviest single specimen – a chubster for chips weighing in at 3lbs 5oz.

For the sixth year, the quiet village of Langley held its annual, rather civilised Sunday potato dig organised as usual by Councillor Phil Rouse. Each year, in April the families plant their crop and in October they dig up the veggie treasure.

The contest is to see who can grow the most from a single tuber. Every year since 2011, a sack of seed potatoes has been donated to the residents by Gerald Whyman of Clavering a retired nurseryman.

This year, the variety was Lady Balfour and she turned out to be Lady Bountiful.

Peter Parker said: “This is the third year we’ve taken part. We didn’t expect to get so many potatoes. I don’t think anybody expected it. I made a wooden container about four foot across and put it out where it got the sun. I think it’s care and maintenance, you’ve got to feed and water but there is also an element of luck.”

This year, off the 22 contestants about half put them in the ground and the other half tried tubs, delved into dustbins, and utilised water barrels. The Day of the Dig is a community occasion with families going from house to house where the crops have been planted and having coffee in one, champagne in another, brunch at a third, finally ending up for dinner at The Bull in Langley, where on Sunday, October 15, landlords, Sarah and Ben Blackaby served bangers and mash.

The money collected from the sale of the spuds in the spring, at £5 each was dished out as prizes. It was £50 for the winning yield, £15 for the heaviest potato and wine for the supplier of the potatoes, Gerald Whyman, and the judge, gardener Richard Bailey.

Each plant is dug up and it’s yield weighed. Research shows that a very good yield equates to 30lbs from 2lbs of seed potatoes so to get over 55lbs is phenomenal.

• Is this a record. Tell us your spud stories: editor@saffronwalden-reporter.co.uk

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