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...........

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I have been reflecting on my entries for the Show, & want to have a think about next year, too…

Timings 1 – although staging of the entries can be from 10am to 2pm, I think that it’s better to place entries earlier rather than later, so that you can ‘bag’ the best bit of the table. This means that you don’t get to see the other entries at the time, but there is nothing to stop you going in at 5 to 2 in order to see what you are up against, & would give an opportunity to take stock of the show as a whole, & to take photos.

Timings 2 – when the judges have finished their marking, the entries are all supposed to be left on display for everyone to have a look at, but it seems that some entries (notably in the cake entries) are whipped away at the first opportunity, mainly to stop people breathing all over them, I suppose. This means that if you want to see the winners in all their glory, you need to nip in pretty sharpish.

Read the rules – nothing quite so dopey as being disqualified for putting the wrong number of veg in your entry. Best veg in the world won’t win you a prize if you enter 9 beans instead of 7 in your ‘collection’, will they, Hazel?

Prepare entries as far in advance as possible – this is easy for things like jam/pickle/cakes to be made in the preceding weeks or days, not quite so easy to pick, select & prepare the veg that needs to be dead fresh for showing. This is quite stressful!

Think ahead with regard to sowing/planting times – it was a shame not to have peas to enter as they were all finished, & the runner beans not ready, & it’s worth growing a couple of courgettes not just to eat, but to show (although I think I may let the marrow classes go)

Flowers can be good to show too – having more flowers is an area that I want to explore further anyway next year, so there’s no reason why I can’t do more with sweet peas, for example.

A quick word on varieties – with lettuce, do not try to enter iceberg lettuce as they are too fragile shedding leaves all over the place! The cos lettuce I grew from seedlings kindly given to me by Brian & Pauline were far more robust, & I think would show better.

And next year we’ll have a few more entries from my fellow bloggers – go on, you lot, know you want to!

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