Tall tale of Clyde and the giant tomato bush

Flinders View resident Clyde Sippel with his tomato bush that has grown on it's own and is now about 3m x 2.1m. Photo: Sarah Harvey / The Queensland Times
Flinders View resident Clyde Sippel with his tomato bush that has grown on it's own and is now about 3m x 2.1m. Photo: Sarah Harvey / The Queensland Times Sarah Harvey

IT IS not quite the second coming of Jack and the Beanstalk but the Sippels' tomato plant is not your typical backyard bush either.

The plant mysteriously began growing behind the shed at Clyde and Val Sippel's Flinders View home about three months ago and has since blossomed into a 3m wide and 2.2m tall plant.

"I haven't got a clue (how it started growing)," Mr Sippel said.

"It came up; I started looking at it and I thought, 'this thing is going to grow'."

Mr Sippel has not attended to the plant in any way other than to tie it to the back of his shed, making the growth all the more impressive.

"I told him to leave it and let it grow its course," said Mrs Sippel.

Although Queensland typically accounts for a large proportion of Australian tomatoes, Mr Sippel said his plant was producing "truss tomatoes", generally only grown in New South Wales or further north in Queensland.

Neither Mr nor Mrs Sippel has any idea how the seed was planted.

"I would say it is through the birds," Mr Sippel said.

"I think one might have dropped it because birds can fly a long way.

"That's the only explanation I've got."

Ironically, Mr Sippel grew tomatoes on a farm near Esk once upon a time.

However he has not grown any vegetables since the couple moved to their current address more than five years ago.

As for what the Sippels plan to do with the tomatoes once they are ripe: Give them to their neighbours.

If you have any stories of vegetables mysteriously growing in your backyard, The QT would like to hear them. Send us an email at qt@qt.com.au.


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