Yup, this upo (also known as bottle gourd or calabash) stands out or needs a standing ovation for outgrowing the more common ones we see in the market, or even from other home gardens.
This glorious upo belongs to Rose Simonsen of Noble Park North, who confesses not being ‘experienced’ in planting vegetables.
Rose’s bottle gourd measures 128cm and weighs a hefty 7.8kgs, just a tad short of Melbourne’s longest one recorded in 2017 at 130cm and weighed 8.7kgs. She started planting on 12 December 2020 and saw first fruits on 2 January 2021. Then this baby just grew into a ‘giant’ which luckily did not snap nor fall off from its vine.
Though it did not break the record, no shame in being a runner-up. For a newbie in vegetable gardening, that’s one proud Momma moment.
The current Australian record for the largest bottle gourd belongs to Indian-Australian Harry Singh. Like Simonsen, Singh also grows his vegetables in his Melbourne backyard.
The upo is a popular vegetable in many tropical and temperate regions around the world.