When we dug up some rather fine purple carrots a couple of weeks ago, we thought we might actually have something worthy of the allotment’s upcoming annual show. Suddenly, the care and pampering of our veg was taken to a new level. Actually, I just got a bit more diligent about removing pests. Can’t have them ruining my prize veg, now can I?
The show was held to today and when we arrived in the early morning, there was a noticeable buzz about the site. I could see several people scouring their plots for something presentable. I heard quite a lot of conversations in near by plots that went along the lines of;
“No, the birds/foxes/slugs have got there first.”
Still, with some searching and a show schedule in one hand, we managed to pull together enough things to enter eight classes. The purple carrots and “beautiful” onions were our main contenders. The herb patch hasn’t completely gone to seed and produced a decent collection of herb bunches. Similarly the purple dwarf beans and squash plants contributed some fine specimens. Finally, our lovely little orange sunflowers managed to just squeak out the minimum number of stems required to enter the flower class.
We headed up to the site’s community building, produce and vases in hand. I used to do horse shows when I was younger and it’s been many years since I felt that slight flutter; a delicious mix of excitement and apprehension. I did actually have a tiny moment of paranoia, which made me reluctant to leave my entries unattended, worrying they might be “tampered”with! Okay, maybe it’s not quite like that, especially at this level. At least, not that I saw…
In the end, my fears were clearly unfounded as we placed in all our classes except one! The courgettes were the only non-placing entry, but admittedly they were a bit mismatched, albeit the only yellow variety entered.
Third place in the Other Vegetable class for our slightly over grown summer squashes.
Third place in the Flower class for our orange sunflowers. First went to a vase of stunning blood red dahlias, so I can’t fault that choice!
Second place in the Dwarf Bean class for our suddenly-ready-today purple beans. We have masses of them, so getting matching lengths wasn’t a problem.
A second place for Ugliest Vegetable class with our last minute entry of a mangled carrot we dug up in the process of looking for perfectly shaped ones.
First place in the Herb Collection class. Went for as much visual contrast as I could, which was only possible with the wide variety of herbs we have.
First in the Carrot class for our much better looking purple carrots. The only purple carrots in the whole show. Lots of compliments, comments and questions about these.
Yet another first for our onions this time, described by one of our plot neighbours as “beautiful.” Lots of queries from everyone about where we bought the sets (Marshals), what variety they were (Fen Globe) and when we planted them (March).
At the end of the show, many of the entries were auctioned off to raise some money for the association. Most things went for 10 to 20p generally, all our veg were snapped up pretty quickly. However, I did go a little pink when the onions came up. They went for a whopping 50p, out doing anything else auctioned off. One of the organisers commented that they were amazed I was willing to part with them. It’s quite hard to modestly say, “it’s okay, I have plenty more where those came from.”
Scott told me that someone asked him which plot was ours, which had produced so well. When they were told, they replied, “ah yes, the one with the blue shed.” Yes, the Blue Shed Plot, a force to be reckoned with when it comes to vegetable showing.