An Ely, Minnesota, man has grown a record-breaking tomato, smashing a record held for 28 years.
It took a combination of fertilizers, a pair of pantyhose, Big Zac tomato seeds and Dan MacCoy's green thumb to grow the 8.41-pound tomato, which measures about 30.25 inches around, according to MacCoy, who wrote about the growing process on BigPumpkins.com, an online community for giant produce growing.
The Great Pumpkin Commonwealth, a non-profit organization that oversees the hobby of world-record produce growing, recently certified the tomato, Northland's NewsCenter reports, and as long as no one grows a bigger tomato by Nov. 1, MacCoy will be the world record holder – and win $1,000 in prize money from the commonwealth.
MacCoy also expects Guinness World Records to eventually certify the tomato (pictured at left) as the heaviest ever grown, the Star Tribune says. The current world record: 7.12 pounds, a tomato grown by Gordon Graham of Edmond, Oklahoma, in 1986, according to Guinness World Records.
MacCoy originally set out to grow a record-breaking pumpkin, but after falling a few hundred pounds short of the record, he switched to tomatoes.
Last year, he ordered some Big Zac tomato seeds, which tend to have "megablooms" – individual tomatoes fused together – and typically weigh close to 4 pounds, BigPumpkins.com says. He grew a 4-pounder last year, and then used the seeds from that tomato in this year's record attempt.
MacCoy planted the seeds on April 15 and transplanted them into his garden around May 1, the Ely Echo reports. He picked the tomato at the end of August.
"I knew this tomato was special because it was growing over an inch a day in circumference. It continued to grow and grow," MacCoy told the newspaper.
MacCoy also grew tomatoes that weighed over 5 and 6 pounds.
MacCoy won't be eating the tomato. He harvested the seeds and says he'll donate them to Commonwealth clubs for fundraising auctions, Northland's NewsCenter says.