A turnip for the books

Purple patch ... Doug Grimwood shows off the huge turnip he has grown on his allotment patch in Glemsford.

Purple patch ... Doug Grimwood shows off the huge turnip he has grown on his allotment patch in Glemsford.

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It is not every day that such a ground-breaking story turnips on your patch, but when Doug Grimwood dug his allotment last week, he tasted swede success.

Mr Grimwood, 79, from The Pippins, Glemsford, discovered that among his usual crop was a behemoth – a turnip measuring 23 inches in circumference, or nearly two feet.

Having had an allotment for more than 45 years, Mr Grimwood, who lives with his wife Sheila, remains mystified as to why the vast vegetable has outgrown its neighbours.

“I haven’t got a clue,” he said. “I don’t know how much it weighs either, but I’ve been on this plot five years and this is why I’ve grown them.”

According to Mr Grimwood, who also grows sprouts, cabbages, and parsnips at his plot near Glemsford Primary School, the titanic turnip is no good for eating, but there may be more rotund roots to come.

“The swedes are going better this year, and they are a hard one to grow,” he said.