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This Grandpa Has Become A Huge Diva After Winning Zucchini Contests, Say Concerned Grandchildren

April said her grandpa somehow even used his zucchini championship titles to lower a recent traffic ticket.

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This is 30-year-old April Lehman and her 86-year-old grandfather, Charles Adornetto, from New Jersey. Adornetto is the proud, undefeated zucchini-growing champion of his town.

Adornetto emigrated from Sicily to the United States 60 years ago and soon discovered his passion for gardening.

He told BuzzFeed News the house he and his wife moved to had a huge yard, so he began growing different produce "for fun."

Besides zucchini, Adornetto also grows pumpkins, beans, grapes, peppers, fig trees, tomatoes, and more.

Adornetto is a talented gardener, and in the last few years he become a superstar in his town because of his zucchini. Lehman and his other grandchildren are concerned that he's "become a complete diva" now, she said, laughing.

April Lehman

In 2015, Adornetto first entered a local zucchini contest on a whim, and easily defeated his competition with a 9-pound zucchini from his garden.

In 2016, he unfortunately missed the deadline and was "very upset."

In 2017, he effortlessly won the zucchini contest with a 6.57-pounder. That's when Adornetto's entire attitude changed, according to Lehman.

Now a two-time winner, he's been featured in the local newspaper. "He got pictures with the mayor... He demanded the family tell everyone we know and post his pictures on social media," Lehman said. He now carries his certificate and winning zucchini to family gatherings and events around town.


Most incredibly, Lehman said her grandfather had a recent traffic ticket lowered in court after joking and bragging about his zucchini reign to the prosecutor.

April Lehman

Adornetto explained to BuzzFeed News when he was pulled over recently, the cop said he'd "have to pay," but that he could try appealing the ticket in court.

During the appeal process, he and the prosecutor got into a conversation about gardening.

"I was kidding around... He said, 'You grow the vegetables?' and I said, 'Yes, I won in 2015,' and I showed the picture to the judge," he explained.

(Lehman interjected to reiterate that her grandfather carries the photo with him everywhere.)

"The commissioner called me and said she'd charge me $50," Adornetto said, adding that it was a fraction of the originally billed traffic ticket.

In full transparency, Lehman said she contacted BuzzFeed News partly because her grandfather loves the attention he's getting surrounding his zucchini wins — but she is very proud of him and his accomplishments, despite the new diva behavior.

Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in New York.

Contact Tanya Chen at

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