What a weekend I have just had; my determination and passion for No.27 is as strong as ever.
So much so, that in between working today, I did an hour digging when the sun came up, an hour at lunch, then an hour after work. If only I could do this very day! This morning was beautiful, over 100 plots on my site but at 7 am it was just me and the birds singing. Pure bliss..
So what happened to give me this extra kick?
Last Wednesday bang on the 8pm deadline, I decided to pop up the road and put in my entry form for my local Autumn Show run by WAGS, Wallingford Allotment and Garden Society. Got to be in it, to win it after all!
I visited the show last year before I even had set eyes on No.27 to see what the atmosphere was like, have a good nosey and more importantly…eye up my potential competition.
I know it’s about having fun and sharing tips, but deep down we all know that as soon as the exhibits are on display it’s competition time and we all want to see a certificate next to our produce.
I joined the society shortly after when I became the proud owner of a disgraced No.27; a very reasonable £4 a year with plenty of benefits including being able to enter all the classes at the show.
So with very minimal preparation, Saturday finally arrived…Show Day! Eeekk!
Suddenly I felt incredibly stressed, my first year learning to grow my own and now my first show all before I hit No.27’s one year anniversary at the end of October.
We had from 8am – 11am to set up our exhibits before being asked to leave until 2pm for judging. I spent 8 – 10am in my kitchen, weighing, playing identical snap with produce, scrubbing and storing. Stressed was understatement!
It was suddenly 10am and I received a text reminding me that I had until 11am to set up. Basically…you have an hour, get a move on woman! I still had to do some last minute picking at the allotment too for my tomatoes and cosmos flowers.
Luckily the hall is less than 5 minute drive so I quickly but carefully packed up the car and headed to show time.
The classes I entered were:
1. Potatoes – 1 dish of 4 – White
2. Carrots – 1 dish of 3
3. Sweetcorn – 2 cobs
4. Garden Flowers – A vase of 5 stems of one or more varieties raised from seed during the previous 12 months
5. Heaviest Potato
6. Heaviest Pumpkin
7. Oddest shaped vegetable
8. Tastiest tomato
9. Open to any member who has not entered the show before – Once specimen of a vegetable, fruit or flower.
So 2pm came and I rushed in there like a excited kid waiting for a sweet shop to open.
“How had I done? Was it a complete flop? Hope I haven’t embarrassed myself. Please let me have a couple of certificates, any colour!”
All of those plus probably many more thoughts were going through my head!
The first certificate I see…a RED one…that means FIRST!! I nearly cried and picked up the certificate to show my parents who had come long. “Calm down woman” I said, you look like a nutter.
I gained composure, put the certificate back and carried on into the other room to see how I had fared in there.
In total I received, 1 First, 3 Seconds and 2 Thirds! For my first year, what an achievement amongst the regulars and experienced gardeners.
Here is a few of them…
I am pretty pleased and proud of the result, but as always already wanting bigger and better for next year.
Watch out consecutive winners, there’s a new girl on the scene! Autumn Show 2017 here I come, I am going for loads more classes and vying for a trophy!
All the shows seem to be taking place this month, have you entered yours or planning on doing so? Would love to hear other peoples experiences. I have seen so many beautiful displays and fabulous results from other shows on my Twitter feed. Tips welcome too 🙂
Happy gardening! x