A DECORATED giant vegetable grower from Cwmbran has added another national title to his collection.

Kevin Fortey secured the UK record for the heaviest cantaloupe melon at the National Giant Vegetable Championships.

Mr Fortey won the title with his 14.792kg (32.61lbs) cantaloupe melon – weighing roughly the same as a coyote or a mid-sized microwave.


The giant vegetable grower secured the record at the championships at the Malvern Autumn Show.

“We’ve been growing this cantaloupe melon in a frame. It started in last April,” said Mr Fortey. “We had some seeds over from the US.

“It had one of my t-shirts over it to shield it from the sun.

South Wales Argus: Kevin Fortey's UK record-sized cantaloupe melon. Picture: Kevin Fortey.Kevin Fortey's UK record-sized cantaloupe melon. Picture: Kevin Fortey.

“It was amazing. I never realised it was that heavy. Lifting it, it was a dead weight.

“This was a huge feat and we have been trying to secure this record for a number of years.

“I’m looking forward to my son and niece and nephew trying it.”

South Wales Argus: The giant cantaloupe melon growing. Picture: Kevin Fortey.The giant cantaloupe melon growing. Picture: Kevin Fortey.

As well as adding a new title to his collection, Mr Fortey also managed to hold on to his Guinness World Record for heaviest beetroot – 23.995kg (52.89lbs) achieved in 2019 – with no new challengers reaching the target weight.

“That didn’t get beaten thankfully,” he said. “It’s going to take some beating.”  

At the Malvern Autumn Show, Mr Fortey also filmed with Guinness World Records’ editor in chief Craig Glenday for a project on giant vegetable growing.

And Mr Fortey’s Giant Vegetable Community group on Facebook is set to team up with a school in London through Facebook’s Power Admin Programme to encourage healthy eating.

“We’ve been connected with a school in London in Brent Cross and we are going to be bringing a load of giant vegetables to the school and teaching them about growing and eating healthily,” he said.