Seaweed key to 4kg cauliEMMA DANGERFIELD - Kaikoura Star
Bonnie Gallot's family are certainly going to be well fed this week, and perhaps next week too, after the Inland Rd farmer harvested an enormous cauliflower from her vegetable patch.
The giant specimen, weighing in at just under four kilograms after being stripped of its leaves and stem, is just one of a number of gigantic vegetables in the Gallots' garden.
Bonnie has always been a keen gardener, but she usually sticks to flowers, leaving her husband to take care of the vege patch.
However since moving to the four-hectare property at the end of last year, she has been in charge of her first crop and has proved a natural, with broad beans, strawberries, onions, yams, pumpkins, sweetcorn and much more growing plentifully in her garden, not to mention the enormous leeks which she has left to go to seed so she can grow more of the same.
Her property also has a number of different fruit trees, and whilst tending to all the produce can be time-consuming, she wouldn't have it any other way.
She barely has to buy any fresh produce from the supermarket and her two children Gypsy, five, and Shaun, 10 have a healthy love for the home-grown stuff – in a word, "yum".
Even the neighbours must be glad to live near Bonnie, as she grows so much she can't possible get through it all herself, and regularly gives it away.
"Absolutely nothing goes to waste," she said.
"The cattle get the leaves and bits, and I preserve the peaches when I get too many."
But when she unearthed the whopping cauliflower, she put it in a wheelbarrow, and it filled the entire thing.
She sent a picture to her husband on her mobile phone, who insisted she call the Kaikoura Star to have it documented.
When asked what her secret to her giant veges is, she puts the success down to plain old seaweed.
"I get the compost from the tip, add some pea straw, then seaweed and that's it really."
Bonnie collects the seaweed from the beach, brings it home and washes it thoroughly so it doesn't smell of seaweed anymore, dries it out if possible, then mows over it with the lawnmower and adds it straight to the garden.
"I definitely think that seaweed is the key to it," she said. "I'm sure of it."
Food for thought for all you other green-fingered folk out there...