Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Show Time!

I cannot get over what a fabulous day I had on Sunday!

Honestly, last November I thought that having an allotment would be a bit of fresh air, exercise & nice home grown vegetables – I had no idea of the ‘community’ involved – either at the Hill, or on line at the GYO Grapevine forum.

The first excitement of the day was that Shelley & Paul from the Forest of Dean told me they were coming to the Show! Fancy coming all that way to see my marble cake!

So I made sure I had suitable refreshments in hand, then went to gather my potential prize winning veg from the Hill. Digging appropriate beetroot was easy enough – although I did have a bit of a dither as to whether they were too large or not…but I had 3 which were relatively uniform and about the same size, so that looked ok.

I hit a hitch with the carrots – not having either x-ray vision, or tons of carrots to dig up and choose from, I really struggled to find 3 good ones & it really was a case of picking the best of a bad lot.

Back to base to wash and trim these, and select the best of the runner beans to enter – 7 beautiful identically straight beans – with just a suspicion of newsprint making the beans a bit darker green than as picked!

With Jane otherwise engaged for the day, it was just me & mum armed with the entries & mum’s sponge cake going along to ‘stage the entries’ at the Club House, where we met up with Shelley and Paul.

The beet looked ok compared to the others (middle left), the carrots faintly embarrassing (top left), the runner beans lovely (bottom left), & the marble cake excellent – in my opinion! Mum’s sponge was also clearly streets ahead of the other entrants.

We retired to the bar where I opened the most wonderful goodie bag from Shelley & Paul, which had the most fabulous produce freshly picked from Holly Cottage, home made hand cream, home sun dried tomatoes, a cake recipe book, string-in-a-tin to stop tangling, a flowerpot man to match their full size ones (known as Junior Flob) & a most fantastic polo shirt printed up just for ME!

They show ridiculous levels of thoughtfulness & kindness, and I was completely overwhelmed!

Whilst the clubhouse was closed for judging we came back home for coffee & marble cake (what else?) & we chatted until it was time for the winners to be unveiled!

So back to the Hill for the moment of truth…

Well, none of my veg came in the prizes, the marble cake came third – but out of three & mum came FIRST with her sponge cake!
A final look round the plots & it was time to bid Shelley & Paul a safe journey home & to collect the entries.

Reg-next-plot took the flower category honours, along with ‘best exhibit’ for his leeks, & Jason (behind retired Maureen) won the overall veg prize, so all quite evenly matched – AND Reg let me have a couple of his prize winning leeks, so I won there!

So much to think about for next year, whilst I’m weeding & picking beans, & there’s oodles of cake to eat up, veg to pick & cook & freeze ….food for thought indeed, and no mistake!


  1. Third for that fabulous cake? You were robbed!

    Well done to yor Mum and your 'neighbours' though. The whole thing sounds like it was tremendous fun!

  2. Hey Hazel, thnx for the balls! and the comment left on my site while im layed up out of action! I feel like an old man! Hey so thats why allotments have that stigma attached to them! Anyway Im off back to restin'. Ill take yr advise on the physio once the bank hol is out of the way.


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