BONNYVILLE – After a summer that brought two subsequent heat domes through the Lakeland region and most of the Prairie provinces, Jim Bodnar could not have imagined that he would be pulling giant red skinned potatoes from his Bonnyville garden this fall.
Even with the drought conditions, Bodnar rarely took time to shower his seed potatoes mounded under the soil.
“These potatoes probably only got watered twice this year,” he told Lakeland This Week.
In the past, Bodnar says he used to water his potatoes more frequently but found when he did, they would grow hollow and tend to rot quickly once removed from the ground. He would avoid giving additional water to the potato section of the garden – even through dry spells.
That habit has paid off ten-fold this year.
So far, Bodnar has unearthed roughly 10 to 12 giant potatoes ranging from three to nearly five pounds. Another row of potatoes was still waiting to be pulled up from the ground by early October.
According to Bodnar, like every year, he only uses half a bag of fertilizer for his 100 ft long garden for the entire season. The seed potatoes he uses are those he pulls from his own cellar in spring. Nothing store bought or GMO.
“You never come across something like this. You only come across maybe three-pounders. I would have never expected to come across a four and a half plus pound red potato in the garden,” he said, explaining his excitement and urge to document the abnormal discovery.
Bodnar jokes that in response to his abundant garden, his neighbours tell him they are planning to forgo their own crops and rely on his larger than life produce in the future.
As for what he will do with his giant red potato, he laughs, “I have no idea, but you can’t preserve it – I can tell you that.”