Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quackers! The bizarre tomato that's shaped like a duck

John Owen has been gardening for 40 years, but the sight that greeted him in his greenhouse recently was a definite first.

When the pensioner went to check on his vegetables, he was stunned to find a duck-shaped tomato staring back at him.

The retired farmer, 70, said: 'I've not seen one like it before, that's for sure.

'I went out into the greenhouse to check on my vegetables and I saw this strange little tomato looking back at me.

'It was hanging upside down so didn't quite see the duck-like features until I pulled it down and put it on the table.

'It's amazing and I have no idea how it has ended up looking like this. It is a complete freak of nature and I don't think it will ever happen again.

'I had to check I wasn't living next to a nuclear testing site.'

The deformed tomato has given him plenty of laughs and has become a bit of a celebrity on his street, with dozens of neighbours coming round to have a look.

Rather than putting the tomato into the frying pan and adding it to his full English breakfast, Mr Owen, from Brownhills, Staffordshire, has decided to keep it as a souvenir - until it rots away.

It is not the first time he has caused a stir with his green-fingered exploits.
In 2004 he became the proud owner of a pumpkin measuring a gargantuan 6ft following what was his first ever attempt at growing the traditional Halloween fruit.

Duck-shaped fruit and vegetables may not be as rare as Mr Owen thinks, however.

Earlier this month, Patricia Bragg from Essex found a mallard-shaped courgette - which bore an uncanny resemblance to Beatrix Potter character Jemima Puddleduck - nestling among leaves in her allotment.
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