Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Showtime!

I've had such an exciting day today, I think I am going to have to lie down for a nap before I leave again for dog training class tonight! Why? - I've been to the RHS London Autumn Harvest Show. On today and tomorrow at Horticultural Halls, Westminster. In the spectacular surroundings of the Art Deco exhibition halls, I was invited to a preview. Of course there were flowers there, so after taking a polite viewing, I made of to where my heart led me. To the veggie show!
Fantastic array of stands to view, including the hottest chilli in the world, the Dorset Naga.
Now, I have never entered a horticultural show, it is quite a cut-throat, competitive bun fight by all accounts.
And they take it very seriously indeed! Largely a male domain..
Is it stiffer, cleaner, thicker or longer than all the rest?
So the judges went round seriously with their clip boards and pencils at the ready.
An amazing display of fondled, tweezered, manicured and polished produce!
Size isn't everything you know boys!... I wonder what Dr Freud would have made of it?

14 Comments:

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Green Lane Allotments said...

Was this the show that Joe swift on GW entered. Must admit watching him grow a polish his entries did nothing for me. Still some people get great enjoyment from it so good for them.

 
At 10:24 PM, Blogger Maggie said...

How wonderful sounds like a great day.

 
At 10:29 PM, Blogger Kalena Michele said...

This looks like a beautiful fair! The location photo at the top of the post is what caught my eye (lol). I hope that it all went well and that you had an amazing time.

 
At 10:43 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Green Lane - Yes, the very same. Actually Jo was there this morning for the briefing, along with other telly, welly, totty.....

 
At 1:15 AM, Blogger Amanda said...

I wish we had this type of show where I'm from!

 
At 5:03 AM, Blogger Wyatt said...

How interesting...do the judges get to taste?

Wyatt

 
At 8:09 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Wyatt - a good point! the judges don't taste the veggies. For me, taste is everything and in my experience when a veggie gets that big it loses flavour.

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger Jo said...

I watched the programme last week about Joe Swift growing veggies to show. What a lot of work and effort to grow veg for the showbench, these exhibitors are so committed. I think I'll stick to growing to eat.

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

I think they spend longer combing the leeks' roots than I do with my hair!

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger Mr. H. said...

Wow, what a fun event to have been able to attend. I'm pretty sure I don't have one single vegetable that would meet their criteria.:)

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Hi Matron, I tried to leave a comment yesterday but google would not allow me to sign in! I love looking at show exhibits and usually give them a 'poke' to see if they are wax models!If the judges did cut a little piece to taste it would make more sense, it does seems to be a male occupation.

 
At 2:16 PM, Blogger RobD said...

Serious veg shows like this do nothing for me either - and I'm a boy! I don't mind a bit of light hearted competition like we had on our site, but that's as serious as I get. We joked most of the afternoon about the fact the winner only won because he washed his veg! Like you, taste is everything.

 
At 7:13 PM, Blogger Chicken lover said...

So envious, I love veggie shows x

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Simon (Smithyveg) said...

How wrong most of you are! LOL

I was one of the competitors at Westminster.Travelled down with a bus load of fellow competitors at 2.30am. Brilliant banter and camaraderie all the way down. And one of the country's top growers is a lady from Essex called Sherie Plumb. She's virtually unbeatable with potatoes.

Contrary to popular belief size does not mean inedible veg. The National Vegetable Society has a motto 'if you wouldn't eat it don't show it'. It's just that exhibition veg is bred to grow bigger and more uniform than regular veg. Friends and family reckon my show winning tomatoes remind them of how tomatoes used to taste.

As for the lengths we go to on the show bench to display our veg all I can say is the clue is in the word 'show'. You wouldn't go to see a beauty parade and expect to see the girls parading in dirty jeans and no make-up etc. It's the same with show veg....we try to get it as near perfect as we can to impress the judges.

Taste is a subjective thing so how could you judge it?. Older people have different taste to younger people. It can never be one of the criteria used to judge show vegetables.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

>