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Page last updated at 08:53 GMT, Thursday, 21 October 2010 09:53 UK
Manx teenager grows the island's biggest ever pumpkin

The Leech family reveal the secrets to their giant vegetable growing success

It could be a prop from a Roald Dahl movie, but Alfie Leech from the Isle of Man has grown a giant pumpkin weighing nearly 25 stone.

The 14-year-old then entered his creation in a local produce show, where stunned judges announced he had smashed the island's biggest vegetable record.

He grew his pumpkin organically using farmyard manure and wrapping it in a blanket to keep it warm at night.

"It's so heavy, the only way to move it is with our tractor," said Alfie.

Alfie Leech with his giant pumpkin
It took five people to carry the 25 stone pumpkin

"I planted it back in April and have been looking after it day and night ever since. It's been really hard work but it's definitely worth it after winning the show," he continued.

Alfie first started growing vegetables when he was just four, learning the skills from his Grandfather on their family farm in Andreas.

He started entering local competitions when his next door neighbour challenged him to see who could grow the biggest vegetable.

"Last year I won with the longest parsnip but to start off with I grew the tallest sunflower, the heaviest onion and the heaviest beetroot. There's a long list but I've won the last five years in a row," said Alfie.

The prize pumpkin is due to be cooked up and sold to the public with all proceeds going to the Royal British Legion.

Alfie's already getting the plot ready for his next challenge, what he might conjure up this time is anyone's guess, but he has his sights firmly set on a British vegetable growing record.

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