Growing up in a very large family, Phillip Vowles learned to appreciate the effort it took to feed all his brothers and sisters. So when he started harvesting his own crop, he decided to supersize his project. As Phillip says, “big vegetables feed big families.” Today, his giant veggies top-out at over 100 pounds and can feed more than just a few families.
We grow giant marrows, four foot in a month. 45 inches. These marrows would taste exactly the same as a normal marrow. Nice and tender and lush. Some of them look a bit tough, but once you cut into them, they cut like butter.
My name is Phillip Vowles. I live in Llanharry, Wales and I grow giant vegetables. I've been growing giant vegetables now for the last 30 years.
I come from a very large family. My mother had 17 children. 13 of us survived, and I think, you know, that was something, you know, big vegetables feed big families.
You know, I’m up here every morning, every night, every single day of the week. There's a lot of love and care goes into it. Sometimes I do a bit of talking to them as well to encourage them to grow, which is a bit of, you know, a bit of fun.
I think he's just about finished growing there now.
I got to be very careful the wife is not about when I start talking to my vegetables, but it's all good fun. I broke the world record for the heaviest cucumber what, 25 years ago. It weighed 18 1/2 pound and it was just incredible the way it grew.
When I started, if we had a marrow 20, 30 pound in weight, you had a big marrow. Now, we're up over a 100 pound in weight. A normal cabbage would be two pound in weight, but we're growing 'em 120 pound. You know, you can feed 120, 130, 140 people off one cabbage. This is why I supply the local pub, and they use 'em up for Sunday lunch.
I've developed my own strain, more or less, now. I select my own seed every year, the biggest and the best seed, and it just seems to be improving which is incredible. I grow organically.
I had to think, if I can do it, anybody can do it, and it's a big thrill every day. The wife say, "What am I doing up the lot every day?" And when she comes up she realize.