The claim for the world’s longest zucchini might belong to a Kelowna, B.C., man who’s also competing for the lengthiest gherkin on the globe.
Daniel Tomelin, 54, said his garden has yielded the ruler of all zucchinis, somehow branching off from the crowd and surpassing his wildest anticipations.
“I let the thing grow, and it was just starting to touch the ground, and I was thinking, ‘What is the world’s lengthiest zucchini?’ I didn’t even have a clue.”
He searched online, on the Guinness World Records website, where he discovered the record for the longest zucchini is 105 centimetres, or about 41.5 inches.
He said he was astounded when his zucchini measured 42.5 inches.
The zucchini measured 113 centimetres, or 44.5 inches, on Monday, two weeks after he submitted his application.
Tomelin decided he would pickle the zucchini and also made a claim for the longest pickle in the world in a category that doesn’t exist.
Then he bought two long vases and assembled them into one large container to use as a pickle jar for the dark- and light-green-striped zucchini of the painted serpent variety.
“I used my big rock saw and cut the base off of one, and I glued the two together. So now it’s four feet high. And I’ve taken the base that I cut off (to use) as a lid for it,” he said of the makeshift pickle jar.
Two local gardening experts have measured his zucchini and verified his claim, Tomelin said, adding Guinness World Records has informed him that his application for the zucchini will be processed in about six weeks.
His garden — which includes 40 to 50 varieties of peppers — is robust, but he doesn’t use any “steroids” to grow his vegetables, Tomelin said.
“I’ve been doing this for more than 30 years so I’ve perfected various tricks for planting in dense organic matter.”
The secret to his success is deep-mulch gardening, which utilizes leaves and prevents the soil from being exposed, Tomelin said.
He collects up to 300 bags of leaves in the fall and dumps them in the ground, and that prevents up to 70 per cent less water loss, Tomelin said, adding he doesn’t do any weeding. As for the tilling, the worms and micro-organisms do that.
He said all he has to do is pre-start the plants in the spring, after the snow has melted, when the soil has been compacted and not yet exposed to temperature changes.
“The worms and the microbes have been partying hard all winter long. So the soil is super soil and anything planted in it, they’re the happiest plants on the face of the planet.”
Tomelin said his garden has been nominated for a green-thumb award by the local chapter of the national Communities in Bloom program and is becoming known locally for the giant zucchini.
“It’s just a little miracle that happened in my garden,” Tomelin said of his prized zucchini. “I have all kinds of miracles happen in that place.”