This year, amidst all the chaos of the house, we decided to enter our village show. There were a limited number of classes for the show, all individual types of vegetable/fruit etc in the main section, and we picked just a few that we thought we’d be able to find something for on the day without too much prior commitment: tomatoes, runner beans and a vase of sweet peas, all of which have been performing beautifully for us.
The morning of the show dawned damply, and while the last of the plastering inside was getting underway, we were to be found down the garden in the drizzle, picking the longest runner beans and sweet pea stems. At least the tomatoes in the greenhouse were dry!
We found six beans of similar length that weren’t too curled – sadly not quite the biggest – put together six similarly sized tomatoes, although their colour varied slightly, and found the six longest stemmed sweet peas of good colour with as many blooms per stalk as possible (three or four in our case).
I took these down to the village hall, arranged them rather quickly and headed back to the house to wash and slice the rest of the runner beans that we’d picked for blanching, and made a batch of tomato and courgette chutney with the mounting harvest in the kitchen (more of that later!) while King of the Hill was plumbing in the new kitchen sinks.
With the chutney potted up into sterilised jars, and the sinks temporarily working before being deconstructed again, we headed back down to the open show in the afternoon and wandered around the displays. It was really interesting to see so many entries, and such variety for each class.
And the nicest thing of all was the “second prize” on our vase of sweet peas! Not bad for our first show ever with no real time invested.
Sadly the beans and tomatoes weren’t placed, although the beans were some of the few that had been cut into by the judges so they had obviously been considered. They were certainly not the straightest on show – we have since learned that next year we should wrap them in a damp tea-towel and use elastic bands to encourage them to straighten before showing… Thanks for those tips Damo – and congratulations on your mass haul at your rather more prestigious show! Next year we should have more time to invest, and hopefully arm ourselves with some of the tricks of the trade to enhance our “just picked” crops a little further.
And King of The Hill admired the dahlias on display in their class and expressed an interest in growing them next year – no persuasion required. A perfect result all round…