P.E.I. man grows humongous beet, enough for ’10 meals’

Sumner Matheson was tending to his garden outside his home on the Appin Road in Bonshaw, P.E.I., when he discovered something huge.

“I harvested some of my garden,” Matheson said. “The beets are usually last and the carrots. And, anyway, I ran into something interesting. I noticed one pretty large.”

It’s the biggest beet he has seen in his 30 years of gardening on P.E.I. Matheson hasn’t had a chance to weigh the vegetable, but he estimated it is about four pounds. That’s roughly 10 times the size of a regular beet. 

“Maybe I shouldn’t have pulled it. I could have saved it for seed next year,” Matheson said.

Matheson’s big homegrown beet next to typical store-bought beets. (Tony Davis/CBC)

People getting ‘quite a kick out of it’

The seeds came from the Home Hardware in Sherwood, so Matheson took the beet back to show store employees.

“I had it over there and they got quite a kick of it and they took a picture of it.”

Matheson holds up the big beet and some typical store-bought beets. He estimates his beet is about ten times the size of a normal one. (Tony Davis/CBC)

He planted his crop in May and took up the beets and carrots only Wednesday. No pesticides were used in the growing of the beet — just a little bit of lime and some compost, Matheson said.

He didn’t think about looking up what the world record is for the largest beet.

“Too much hassle, I would think,” he said.

The longest beetroot was measured in the UK in September 2019. It measured 8.56 metres and weighed 23.995 kilograms (52 pounds, 14 ounces), according to Guinness World Records.

Matheson eats the vegetables he grows, but isn’t optimistic the large beet will taste the best.

“It might be tough,” he said, but added the beet will compensate for that by going a long way. “There is probably about 10 meals in that.”

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