And on that farm he had a joint with Snoop Dogg...
Rapper who 'grows his own' cultivates friendship with Welsh swede champion
For green-fingered pensioner Ian Neale, growing the world's largest swede was fame enough. But an unlikely meeting of minds with Snoop Dogg has turned the retired farmer from Newport into a global sensation.
The Los Angeles rapper, a keen cultivator of marijuana plants, held a backstage summit with Mr Neale, 68, to improve his own hydroponic performance. Snoop, 39, sought out Mr Neale after posting a YouTube video in which he praised the pensioner for growing the record-breaking 85.5 lb swede and invited him to his Cardiff concert.
"I do vegetation myself and I want to know your secret," Snoop said.
Footage from the meeting has itself become a web hit, with Mr Neale attracting interest from around the world. "I've been signing autographs and I've been stopped for photographs," he told The Independent yesterday. "I haven't got the internet but a friend turned it on and told me I'm all over it."
Despite being deafened by Snoop's music ("I wouldn't pay to see him"), Mr Neale, a country-western fan whom the rapper renamed the "Giant Veg Massive", gave his visitor a packet of Rootgrow. "It's a chemical that helps better root growth."
Mr Neale soon grasped that Snoop wasn't a rival in the swede-growing stakes. "He's on cannabis, isn't he? He kept offering his weed to me. I thought, 'I'll give it a try'. I had a puff."
But he added that Snoop's stash was not the purest. "It left this funny taste in my mouth," he said. "It tasted like systemic insecticide [ingested by insects when feeding on plants]. But I'm sure he knows better than me how to grow his own plants. If he wants to waste his own money on drugs that's up to him."
Mr Neale gave Snoop the address of a friend's website that offers further growing tips and returned to his passion, breaking his own world record. "He's the world's biggest rapper, they say he's worth $100m," Mr Neale said. "Next year I'm aiming to produce the world's first 100lb swede. I use legal methods." Mr Neale's passion for large vegetables started 30 years ago with a bet between friends over who could grow the biggest onion.
Snoop sported a Cardiff City FC shirt in his video message and stood in front of a forest of cannabis plants. He said: "Shout out to my homeboy Ian Neale for breaking the world record for the biggest vegetable. Come backstage and see me and tell me your secret and see my vegetables, so you can grow that into a real big vegetable."
Mr Neale spends 70 hours a week tending to his vegetables. He previously held the record for a beetroot that weighed 51.5lb.
Justin Bieber was one of the hardest hit
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...