Tipping the scales at 50 pounds, this Kona-grown kalo might set a new world record

The Guinness World Records currently gives the title to one harvested in China.
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 3:49 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2022 at 4:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big Island farmer Clarence Medeiros has grown taro for 50 years. At his Aina Ahiu farm in Kona, he consistently harvests big kalo from the rich black dirt on his property.

“The last season was 33 pounds,” he said.

But last week’s taro take topped them all and stunned even the veteran grower and his wife, Nellie. It was a monster.

“I thought it was going to be a little over 25 pounds. I was going low,” he said.

The weight went a lot higher. The vegetable he and his grandson pulled from the ground weighed 50 pounds and measured 27 inches around.

“When it got put onto the scale and we saw it and it said 50, we were like eyes wide open,” Nellie said. “It can’t be that heavy!”

It was very heavy. Their taro may be the biggest ever, beating out the present world record holder. Guinness World Records gives that distinction to one harvested in China.

The Medeiros’ asked the Hawaii Ulu Cooperative to witness their harvest and do the official weight and measurements.

“I’ve seen a lot of taro over the years but nothing anywhere close to that large. So it was pretty amazing,” HUC’s Holokai Brown said.

The co-op submitted paperwork to Guinness to get the Kona-grown kalo in the record book.

“We’re waiting 12 weeks for them to review the paperwork. I just sent in the stats ― where it was found and the dates,” said the co-op’s Morgan Tooch.

What’s even more amazing is the 50-pound kalo was only half the taro plant’s total size. Attached to it were eight keiki kalo.

“Each keiki was between 8 and 15 pounds. We weighed them after. So it was 100-something pounds pulling em out,” Clarence said.

The Medeiros’s didn’t set out to grow the biggest taro ever, but that’s what they may have on their hands.

“Oh, my, gosh! I said, ‘This is something!’” Clarence said.

The huge veggie will eventually be eaten.

The Medeiros’ grandson re-planted part of the plant to grow the next generation of kalo.

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