Boy do I have something exciting for you! Introducing Gerald Stratford, a retired fisherman, gardener and delight to all on Twitter. Mr. Stratford, a sweet, elderly man at 71 years old, has amassed a respectable 111,000 followers. Why? Because, as his bio reads, he is "heavy into growing big veg."
Now, allow me to explain. Over the summer, Stratford went viral, lauded as a lockdown hero and vegetable king for sharing his enormous harvests with the internet. Just a few months ago, he only had around 36,000 followers (still a lot, considering!). But now, the world is watching as Stratford's bounty -- and his fanbase -- grows.
"Basically I’m a fanatical vegetable grower. I love growing veg," Stratford told the Independent.
Stratford, who lives in the village of Milton-under-Wychwood in Oxfordshire, joined Twitter specifically to share his love of big veg with a small group of fellow gardening friends. In random internet fashion, a tweet he shared showing off a crop of potatoes he was especially proud of made the viral rounds, and now Stratford's a star.
Nowadays, Stratford spends his Twitter time answering questions by amateur gardeners and sharing tips and tricks on how they, too, can grow big veg. He's even won a few vegetable-growing competitions in his time, so the man is fully licensed to dole out advice.
He's also just downright adorable.
"I don't get involved in politics, religion, race or anything. I'm just me and my garden, and my wife supports me; she cooks the produce I grow and we make pickles and chutneys and jams," he said.
What would you give to live in the English countryside, pickling vegetables and making jam with your wife? Downright whimsical stuff.
And, adding to it, like any older person getting the hang of the internet, he treats his tweets like letters, signing off "Cheers" at the end of most of them.
"I think a lot of it is the younger people, especially the American younger people, seem to like the old English man who's happy and growing veg," he said.
Spot on, Stratford.