A Normanton man who has broken a world record for growing the longest cucumber says his secret is praying to the plant every day. Raghbir Singh Sanghera feeds the 49-inch plant – which is still growing – with water and fertiliser in the morning, lunchtime and evening, and sits next to it for three hours […]
A Normanton man who has broken a world record for growing the longest cucumber says his secret is praying to the plant every day.
Raghbir Singh Sanghera feeds the 49-inch plant – which is still growing – with water and fertiliser in the morning, lunchtime and evening, and sits next to it for three hours a day.
The 75-year-old was given the cucumber seeds by a friend five years ago and has planted them every year since.
Raghbir, a local priest and keen gardener, said: “Last year I grew a 39-inch cucumber with the same seeds but this year I wanted to do better. I sit next to it and pray for my health, for my family and for the cucumber.
“I’ve been growing vegetables all my life but I’ve never had anything like this. I think the hot weather may have helped it to grow.”
Raghbir recites the traditional Sikh prayer, the Mool Mantar, every morning next to the cucumber.
The first line of the prayer ‘Ik Onkar’, translates as ‘there is only one God.’
The previous world record of the longest cucumber was 42.5 inches.
Raghbir said: “I am so proud of it. When it stops growing I will keep it for a few weeks to show people but eventually I will eat it in a salad. It can’t go to waste!”
He said: “Our children and two grandchildren love coming to see it. They are very proud. It is like another child.”
Raghbir also grows Indian vegetables, sweetcorn and onions, but none have compared to the giant cucumber.
Normanton ward councillor Balbir Sandhu said: “Raghbir rang me on Friday to tell me that the cucumber was 46 inches. I told him to wait a few more days, then he rang me on Monday saying it had grown another three inches.
“He has to keep lifting it higher every day because it grows so fast and he has to hang it so it stays straight. I can’t believe it, it’s amazing.”
Raghbir plans to submit his cucumber to the Guinness Book of Records when it has stopped growing.