By Michelle Fabio
Ever look at some of your larger tomatoes and wonder if they’d be in the running for the Guinness Book of World Records?
Well unless they’re over 7 pounds, 12 ounces–yes folks, that’s a good-sized newborn baby–you’re out of luck.
Gordon Graham of Edmond, Oklahoma, holds the honor of growing the world’s largest tomato, which he harvested from his backyard greenhouse back in 1986.
Graham grew it on the theory that if he kept letting the plant get bigger, it’d be strong enough to hold, you guessed it, a big tomato.
And the theory paid off, although not before a storm blew over the entire 12-14 foot vine into his cantaloupes. He gave up on the tomato plant, but the future world’s largest tomato had other ideas and just kept growing on its own until one day, it came time to free it from the vine.
In fact, the entire plant became record-setting when it grew to 53 feet and 6 inches, the longest tomato vine ever grown.
Graham was honored for his efforts by Miracle-Gro, who presented him with an identical in size, weight, and shape epoxy replica of his perishable feat; he jokes that it’s great fun traveling through airports with it, as it never ceases to confound personnel.
Not surprisingly, he also became the man to beat in Miracle-Gro’s $100,000 tomato-growing contest, but the closest competitors didn’t even come within a pound of Graham’s formidable fruit; the contest has since been discontinued, so now your only hope is to leap right into the hallowed halls of Guinness.
Best of luck!