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

Dreaming of my summer garden

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Allotment show 2013

I'm a bit late posting about this, the show was in September, but I wanted to let you know how our allotment show went, its our second one. Last year for our first one we could just bring a basket or collection of any vegetables, but this year the committee set a few rules. This year we had to exhibit a basket/tray of six different vegetables from the following list. I hope you can read it, its not copied very well.
But the important thing to remember was that there were 3 compulsory vegetables of potatoes, onions and beetroot. This caught a few people out who looked at the schedule a week or so before the show and then realised they'd not got any beetroot left!
So I had some potatoes ready, they were 'Charlotte' variety, a few beetroot, I entered some 'Chioggia' variety and some onions, they were 'Stuttgarter Giant' which I'd lifted and dried a few weeks before. I still can't believe I actually spent a whole evening puzzling over how to trim and tie onions, even googling to get some expert advice. As for the other 3 vegetables to show, when it came to the week before I didn't really know what to enter, I was a bit spoilt for choice, I had some quite nice long runner beans, some 'Longnor' shallots, some nice french beans, a cucumber, which I was very proud of (my first proper attempt and grown outdoors), a 'Crown Prince' squash and some nice round courgettes. In the end I chose the french beans, cucumber and squash.
 
I think from speaking to the judge and other competitors afterwards I made the wrong decision as its apparently very hard to get a good mark for cucumbers, they have to be immaculate and squash are 'easy' to grow so again don't get good marks.
These were my scores, my best was for the potatoes, 15/20, then onions, 13/20, beans and beetroot 11/20 and the cucumber and squash both got 6/20. But for me its all a bit of fun and just really about taking part and getting together with the other plot holders and having a bit of a natter. We also have a few awards for most improved plot and the plot holders next to me won that which is great as they have taken over a really grotty plot and have turned it round in a few months. Then we also have lots of tea and cake which is the best bit.
Here are a few of the other exhibitors.
 
 
 
You should be able to see which ones came first, second and third. I really wish I'd put the shallots and runner beans in now! Oh well maybe next year. The standard is quite high as many people from my allotment site grow for the Huddersfield show amongst others. Especially our chairman who won best in show for his leeks. They all get very competitive. I might suggest next year having some tasting competition perhaps with tomatoes. We'll see, anyone else got any ideas for us from their allotment shows?

I did win something though third prize in the sweet pea competition.
I won't let it go to my head though, there were only 3 entrants!!


11 comments:

  1. Whoever decided squash are easy to grow obviously didn't have a crop failare as we did in 2012!! Potatoes aren't exactly rocket science are they- or beetroot for that matter.

    Do they pass on the judging criteria?

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    1. No I think they had the potatoes, onions and beetroot so that there were somethings to compare across all entries as last year was a bit of everything and sometimes hard to judge who was best with that.

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  2. It's not the winning, it's the taking part. I think so long as you've had fun, that's all that matters, though as you say, some people take it very seriously. I think your entries were smashing, and squash may be easy to grow, but I can't manage it very well.

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    1. Yes squash can definitely be hit and miss, last year was a complete disaster for me but better this year. I just grow to eat so just what was ready at that time was what I put in, I did try to make sure I had some beetroot though. Many people on the site grow just for show so time everything to perfection.

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  3. Only 6 marks for your squash!!!! It's a beauty, Annie. :0 I'm not so sure squash are that easy to grow, or maybe that's just me. Those leeks are incredible. I do think the showing is fun and it would be a real pity if it dies out. I have never done it though. The allotment doesn't have a show and we always seem to be away for the local county show. There's someone on our site who mainly grows for show. I don't get some of it though. He has so many stunning flowers but only picks them for 2 shows and then scraps them. He doesn't even pick them for his wife. Quite strange.

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  4. A good post and pictures. It's surprising at how many people don't read the schedule properly, or leave it to the last moment.
    Well done, even if you didn't win a prize for the vegetables they look. good, and I'm sure that you'll do better next year.
    Sadly I didn't get to our show again this year so missed all the fun and games.
    Flighty xx

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  5. Hahahaha, I laughed out loud at the end there!!! How interesting and good to see how other people's veggies are going. They are a little mean with their marks though, I would have scored you higher!xxxx

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  6. I think your veg looked great. I agree with other comments and don't think squash is always easy to grow, either. I'm glad you had fun - that's surely what's most important about these shows.

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  7. Looks as if your allotment show will go from strength to strength. Like others the marking puzzles me slightly. Your basket of veg looks most beautiful. Sadly our allotment show folded a while ago but the oddest shaped vegetable class was always popular.

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  8. I kind of like your schedule. We have lots of individual entries and then 'top tray' entry at our show. We also have categories for the children which is a nice thing to add in . Just a few things for you to think about. Also the 'any 3 veg' is a gr4at one for people to put different things in. I think there should be a smallest/biggest veg entry and also weridest looking veg. Mainly for those of us who grow to eat and not to show!!

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  9. Well done for entering. I'm sure it was great fun. I know some people take it very seriously but I think all the displays look great. xx

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