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 13, 2008

Show Time!

Well I really have only just recovered from the excitement of it all!

Sunday morning I looked at the marble cake, & it still looked pretty dreadful, but I put it ready to go, along with the fruit cake, beetroot chutney & the coleus. Then the white & red potatoes went in the bag, a box with some sand (for the shallots) some white plates, then the shallots, red (seed) & white (set) onions. Then three best-of-a-bad bunch carrots.

A second look at the beans picked in the rain on the previous evening didn’t look like winners, so when I whizzed to the Hill to pick radish & spring onions I picked some more – but of the early warwick which I’d previously dismissed as too big, but at least they were all the same size & straight as a die. I also selected my three rhubarb sticks (broke one as I pulled them & said a very rude word indeed) which were nearly uniform.

Home to select & wash the radish & spring onions then they were wrapped in newspaper & went in the bag with the rhubarb & beans. The last things to go in were a couple of lettuce which had been sitting in a bucket of water all night. Tricksy things kept snapping the outer leaves off, which went rather against the ‘shown as grown’ requirement – more ‘shown as knocked about a bit’, but time was of the essence & in they went to the back of the car.

At the Hill I met up with mum & big sister Helen who wanted to stage their plain cake & pot of homemade jam respectively & I busied myself finding where each class was situated & unpacking, unwrapping, wiping & arranging the various entries.

I had enough ‘good’ entries left over to put in for ‘Class 1 – Collection of 5 vegetables’ which I was rather proud of – playing with the big boys now, eh? However, an elementary blunder meant that I arranged 9 rather than 7 beans as part of my entry which meant I was disqualified – I felt better about this when I found out that Reg-next-plot who has been entering veg shows for years did exactly the same thing…

The club house was busy with entrants staging their exhibits with a real buzz in the air. There was a barbecue laid on, the bar was open, John (the plot at the bottom) was selling raffle tickets & had a seed swap going & the gardening library on display.

Later with the judging over, the exhibits were open for inspection by all. We squeezed in to see mum’s second placed plain cake, my second placed fruit cake & a – frankly astonishing – victory for my marble cake. Stiff competition in the jam section meant that big sister Helen’s jar was overlooked for a prize, but my beetroot chutney picked up a second too.

In the veg section last year I had no placings, so I was delighted with a second for the white potatoes, radish & spring onions – with the most satisfying being the white potatoes which beat those of Reg-next-plot. He’ll think twice about helping me select my potato entry for next year, I think…!

We stopped for the raffle & prize giving – novice neighbour Jody, wife & young baby arrived to watch too – then a post match analysis on the way home & a split of the spoils!

Now next year……

8 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Well done kid! What a great result. Now you can start eating your produce again - that comes as a relief after trying to save the best stuff for a show.

    Aunty's proud of you!

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  3. Crackin' news lady - well done I say!

    So, what's for next year then?

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  4. Well Done, Hazel, all that work was not in vain !! It looks like that next year we will have to give you a run for your money, especially in the cake section!!

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  5. Congratulations Hazel!! How do you know what they will look for in a prize winning veggie?

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  6. Thanks, you lot!

    And don't think that you will get away with not entering next year, Brian - I'm on to you!

    If I knew what the judges were looking for, I'd win every category, Primrozie!

    Uniformity of your entries does seem to be one of the main criteria, but also whether the entry is a good example of the type, and the entry also needs to be ripe (erring on the under), which might explain why my french beans didn't do well - they were showing the beans in the pods slightly.

    Mind you, that doesn't explain why the radish did well - I went to eat them and they were woody as anything!

    Hey ho!

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  7. wonderful stuff! I just look at the entries at our local show and know I don't have a chance.

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  8. Don't let the onions-the-size-of-your-head put you off, Happymouffetard - bung in what you've got! I tell you, if the judges go for my woody radish, they'll go for anything!

    Even if you just enter in one class, I bet you get caught up in it - it's so much fun, I can't tell you!

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