The Daily Herald writes that for the second year, Richard “Tarzan” Hassell grew the biggest pineapple on Saba. Last year, he broke the record for Saba’s biggest pineapple ever, and this year, the farmer from Hell’s Gate confirmed his status as record holder.
In 2013, Hassell cultivated the biggest yam ever grown on Saba. Another achievement is a sweet gourd he cultivated in 2006, which was only eight inches short of the world record. Hassell produces such high quality fruits and vegetables by using his own formula of fertiliser which he calls “V8,” which is a mix of manure, seaweed, leaves, fish, bark and wild bush. He lets this mixture decompose for six months before it is ready to use on the fields.
“I came up with the name V8 because of the vegetable drink. For this year’s record holding pineapple I only used one treatment of V8 on the soil. By now I have new pineapples growing of which I am confident they will break my current record next year.” Hassell is looking to export his product if the right person comes along. According to him his product is better than Miracle Gro. Currently he sells his V8 fertiliser product to locals.
Hassell came up with the V8 formula about two years ago. According to “Tarzan” it took him 26 years of experimenting to come up with the perfect formula. “It is important to apply the fertiliser around the plants and not directly on them. Rocky areas are the best place to use my formula and it works especially well for banana trees, peppers, pineapples, etcetera,” Hassell said. The V8 inventor emphasised that fertilising alone is not enough and that paying attention and even talking to your crops is important. “You have to motivate the plants by giving them compliments and therefore giving them positive energy,” Hassell explained.
Hassell was born on Saba in 1950. At the age of five he climbed many trees. Therefore, he earned himself the nickname “Tarzan”.