John Pearson

John Pearson

British gardener who grew giant leeks
Country: Great Britain

Biography of John Pearson

John Pearson, a retired British gardener, gained fame for cultivating a giant leek. Born in Hetton-le-Hole, Sunderland, John Pearson was 63 years old when his name made headlines in 2011. As an amateur gardener, Pearson managed to grow an enormous leek that weighed over 9 kilograms, precisely 9.2 kilograms. His record was officially recognized at the North East Horticultural Show, where he also competed against other gardeners who showcased impressive vegetables, such as a 45.5-kilogram pumpkin, a 7-kilogram onion bulb, and a 24.5-kilogram cabbage. Interestingly, this was not Pearson's first record in this category, as he previously held the record for growing a giant leek in 2002 at the Cramlington show.
To ensure accurate measurements of his giant vegetables, Pearson purchased scales typically used to weigh suitcases for his greenhouse. The 2011 show was sponsored by the Durham County Council and organized by the recently formed North East Horticultural Society. These types of shows and events for gardeners are traditionally highly popular in England, attracting up to 400 participants from all over the country.
Although Pearson was ecstatic about his victory, he confessed that he partly owed his success to another gardener, John Soulsby, who had won the competition in previous years and generously shared his leek seeds with him. Despite his knowledge of the other competitors' entries, Pearson remained humble and grateful for the opportunity to participate in these shows and exhibitions, which he considered the most important day of the year for every gardener involved.

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