The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies. Gertrude Jekyll

Annie's Little Plot

Annie's Little Plot

Monday, 12 August 2013

Vegetable perfection

There is just one down side to this nice summer that we are having and that is that I've just not got enough time to be at the allotment and then write my blog and catch up with other bloggers. I can't complain too much though, I'm loving this weather, a bit of rain and then sunshine and everything is growing a treat, I'm gradually losing part of my plot under a mass of squash leaves and a bit of delicate management is needed.
 I'll update on my plot in the next post but its high summer and that means its that time again for the local allotment holders and gardeners to show off their immaculate vegetables at shows across the country. Last weekend it was the 68th Kirklees Summer Show, the Flower, Vegetable and Handicraft show. This year it is back at my local park, Greenhead Park, now that the park restoration has finished. Its been busy at my allotment site as many of the plot holders are also keen vegetable showoffs.
The show is also a host of the Huddersfield & District Fuchia and Geranium Society and The Yorkshire Gladiolus Society. Plus as well as vegetables and flowers there is also a section for home brews, wine and beer, jams, chutneys, cakes and also crafts.
The Huddersfield Allotments and Garden Federation also had a display, celebrating a summer of sport.
I just find it fascinating walking round and looking at the immaculate vegetables.
My plot neighbours both entered vegetables and/or flowers, I've been following the progress of some giant cabbages throughout the year, plus some huge onions and beetroot.
Here are the cabbages, he's grown them under enviromesh which apparently is a bit pricy but its quite durable and he'll be able to use it for a few years and there was no insect damage whatsoever on the leaves they really were immaculate, if too crazily big.
My other neighbour has super long leeks.
I made a contribution this year though, I was asked to donate some globe artichokes to enter a collection of vegetables as an allotment site.
And look we won first prize!!
I'm thinking that this might have activated my competitive streak and maybe I need to enter something properly next year, we have a mini show at our allotment site in a couple of weekends time so I need to see what I can enter for that. You can see the competition that there is though.
I like the basket of vegetable entries the best.
But the heaviest potato is just bonkers.
You do wonder how long these sorts of shows will keep going though, there weren't a huge number of entries (though there are lots of different categories) for each category. Are people really interested in growing to show so much any more, I understand wanting to grow things well and for crops to look healthy but all this biggest is the best idea I'm not sure. One thing is for sure they need to do something to attract younger people other wise it will die out. So it was nice to see a childrens section which I thought was lovely. They could exhibit vegetables that they have grown, a bunch of flowers, bake some buns, make a miniature garden, take a wildlife photo or make an animal out of vegetables, the last category really made me smile, especially the penguins made from aubergines. Genius.
It was great to see lots of people enjoying a day out at Greenhead Park, they had a fun fair and rides around the park plus a band was playing in the bandstand.
Unfortunately it was held on the same weekend as the Food and Drink Fair which is hugely popular now. Its held in St George's Square near the train station in the centre of town so I'm not sure people would do both, so maybe they need to rethink that next year.
Do you have your own local shows? Anyone tempted to grow things to show?


  1. Hi Annie, I have just been reading back through some of your posts trying to catch up. The weather has been delightful for us too but also means there is plenty of work to be done. Have you managed to catch a glimpse of your new prickly friends first hand yet??

    Your photos of Dorset and post of the course you went on at river cottage are wonderful. It's such a great idea to have this sort of thing so that people can learn from those with a bit more experience and exchange ideas and things. Then winning those books was a great boost...Bob did a fine job of showing them off!!

    Your show looked like it was a nice event, our local show will be in September and we are trying to get more interest. We have put in a small children category area this year to see how it is received...I do love some of your children's categories though...especially the penguins....I may voice for this to be added next year if there are enough entries to warrant adding it.

    I entered the show last year for the first time. I don't grow to show really but it was fun to put some things in and I even got a couple of first and second prize certificates, like your shows though interest is dying out so we are advertising more this year in the hopes to revive it!

    I really think you should support your local show by entering!!

  2. Must admit showing things doesn't really appeal tome nor do allotment competitions. The council used to hold competition (they don'y any more as apparently they can't afford to 50p prizes or whatever it was. The trouble was the way the plots were judged meant those entering didn't pick anything until after the competition which seemed to defeat the object of growing edibles.

    Enviromesh does last a long time - we grow our carrots under it but use insect netting on the brassicas. The odd butterfly finds its way in but any damage is usually caused by slugs which will get in whatever you use.

  3. What an enjoyable post, and WOW on your artichokes and first prize!

    I don't get all the biggest and longest either but it sure is good fun for those who enjoy it.

    I simple loved the penguins, how clever.xxxx

  4. What a fantastic selection of veggies, I'm impressed. Congratulations on helping to win first prize, your artichokes must have been excellent.
    We have a village show each September, but numbers are dropping, it seems to be the same everywhere.But what seems to put people off is that the same few gentlemen win all the prizes every year. Younger people are growing their own veg but are just not interested in competing. I was asked to judge the art work and calligraphy one year, and given a nice lunch for doing so!

  5. Congratulations on being part of a winning team - I bet you were dead chuffed. We used to hold veg shows in our village at one time - not quite sure why they stopped - maybe because veg growing went out of fashion and not many people did it any more - that was then, this is now, when everybody seems to be growing veg.

  6. Looks like a great show Annie and well done on your contribution. I'm off to the Southport Flower Show later this week where there is a big competition for amateur growers which I'm really looking forward to seeing. I've entered my allotment site's shows when we have had them but felt some pressure to do so as I'm the allotment association secretary :) Love those penguins and hopefully the children who took part may get involved in shows as they get older.

  7. I'm always impressed with the standard of veg which is entered in shows, especially the biggest and heaviest classes, there's some real whoppers. Our local show is at the beginning of September but I've never entered anything in it, though I usually go along to support it. Well done on helping your site win a first, the globe artichokes look fine specimens. I love the aubergine penguins. I've just been reading back through your previous posts which I missed while I was away. What a fantastic prize you won, a trip to River Cottage. A really enjoyable post, and thank you for sharing the tips you picked up.

  8. Clearly blogging has to take a back seat at this time of year.
    A good, thoughtful post, and well done on winning a first prize.
    I'm very much in two minds about many aspects of shows which I feel need to make changes to reflect a modern outlook towards growing our own vegetables which isn't necessarily about perfection or the biggest, heaviest or longest.
    Our local show is well attended but I didn't get to it last year, and I'm likely to miss it again this year. And I've no inclination to try and grow especially for growing.

  9. I just love these kind of shows! Seeing the veg arranged for judging is just hilarious! My mum is entering hers on Sunday! Can't wait! She won best tomatoes last year and 2nd prize for her courgettes!!!! Hehee! I just can't help but find it all so amusing! I just love it!