A Cape Coral man believes that he may have grown a record-breaking avocado at his home.
Orestes Padron, who lives in the 400 block of Southwest 39th Terrace, recently picked an avocado weighing just over 5 pounds from one of the trees on his property. It is about 9 inches in length.
"I'm very proud," he said. "I love my avocado."
Cape Coral resident Orestes Padron holds an avocado he grew in his backyard.
According to the Guinness World Records, the current record is for an avocado grown by Gabriel Ramirez Nahim, of Venezuela. It weighed 2.19 kilograms, or 4.83 pounds, on Jan. 28, 2009.
"I tried to report it to Guinness," Padron said of his avocado.
His daughter has started the claim process and is gathering the necessary information.
"They said they require to have proof," he said.
Sara Wilcox, a spokeswoman from the Guinness World Records office in New York, explained that people who want to apply for a record must first submit a claim through the company's Web site.
"After applying, a set of guidelines or rules concerning evidence required will be sent," she stated. "Once our records team receives the documentation, it can take between 6-12 weeks to verify."
For the avocado record, no sticks or dirt can be included in the weighing of the fruit and it must be done on professional equipment. Pictures and two independent witness statements are required.
Padron said most of the avocados on his one tree are on the heavier side.
This plant has different sized avocados - "everything between 4 (pounds) to 5 pounds," he said. "Everybody tells me, 'I never see avocados this big.'"
Padron has another avocado-producing tree on his property.
"One is smaller, one bigger," he said.
According to Padron, he received the big tree in 2002 when it was just a sapling.
A friend brought him the plant from Miami, he said, adding that his friend also brought over a 3-pound avocado from the sapling's parent tree.
"I planted it over here in my backyard."
Padron and his wife have a variety of edibles on their property, including three mango trees and five papaya trees, along with orange, guava, key lime, tangerine, lychee, cherimoya and other trees.
"This is my hobby," he said of tending to the plants.
He shares much of the harvest with family, friends and neighbors.
Padron started the garden after moving to the Cape in 2000 from Key West.
"I was renting and not able to do this," he said of growing fruit in the Keys.
Padron started many of the trees from seeds, like the cherimoya he brought back from Cuba.
"I have a lot of seeds," he said.
Padron noted that caring for young trees is much easier than starting from scratch.
"It's a little work when you try to plant the seeds," he said.
As for his large avocado tree, Padron was told by his friend that it was a Hardee sapling. However, he brought one of the fruit to the ECHO farm in North Fort Myers and the staffers were not so certain.
Regardless of type, Padron is proud of his trees and hopes he has a record-breaking fruit.
"Everything is huge," he said of his garden. "Beautiful."