Photo: When asked what tips he had for people looking to grow their own massive vegetables
Mr. Craven said knowledge is the key. Norm Craven: "You have to research the plant and find out how it grows. You also have to have the best and freshest seeds," he said. "And the plant must be in the perfect environment to encourage growth."
Before moving to Cannington in 1996, Mr. Craven had earned three Guinness World Records for a mammoth pumpkin and two giant rutabagas grown years ago on his property in Stouffville.
The pumpkin weighed in at a hefty 836 pounds in 1993, while the two rutabagas topped the scales at 56 pounds and five ounces in 1994 and 62 pounds three ounces respectively. The first established the new record for world's largest swede, referring to the class of vegetable, while the second set a new benchmark for rutabagas.
Some of the seeds even went on to break his own world records, which didn't upset him in the least. "You're not competing against anyone; you're competing against yourself," he said. "I've helped a lot of young growers over the years. It's really rewarding to help someone."
Since he's started, there's been a significant jump in the number of people trying to grow record-breaking veggies.
"When I started, I'd guess that there was probably 200 people around the world. Now, there's more than 10,000," he said.