Local man digs it

Jim Schippers hasn’t moved far from home in his 75 years, so what comes up out of the ground he sows shouldn’t surprise him.
Becky Vargo
Aug 30, 2014

 

But the Robinson Township man had to chuckle a bit Wednesday when he not only dug up his biggest potato ever, but also discovered it looked like a turtle.

He put the odd-shaped spud in a paper bag to show it to a family member who is not fond of reptiles.

“She jumped,” he said.

His granddaughter encouraged him to share his findings.

The turtle-shaped Kennebec potato weighed in at 1 pound, 11 ounces.

“Just three of them would fill a 5-pound bag of potatoes — to give it perspective,” he said.

The retired sheet metal worker grew up around the block from his home in the 13000 block of Rich Street. He returned from a stint in the Army, got married and started gardening about 50 years ago.

“We always had a big garden,” Schippers said. “We used to grow produce and sell it with an ad in the Tribune.”

Schippers said two years ago he had a potato in a perfect heart shape. He said they kept it for a long time.

“It finally just kind of dried up,” he said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with this one (the turtle-shaped spud). Maybe Guinness wants to check it out.”

Schippers said he’s harvested about 100 pounds of potatoes from his garden this year.

“We store them. They’ll probably last us the whole winter – me and my wife,” he said.

For the record: The Guinness Book of World Records website shows that the heaviest sweet potato — 81 pounds, 9 ounces — was grown in Lanzarote, Spain, in 2004.

 

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