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  • Allotment Shows

    Our local society show has become much less popular over the years, and some people have suggested that it's because the old RHS rules are too strict, and they don't reflect how allotment growing has changed.

    Do any other societies have shows with easier rules/judging? It would be nice for some guidelines/examples of the kind of rules and categories that could be used, and who does the judging when you no longer follow RHS rules?

    Any advice would be helpful

  • #2
    We canned ours Thelma...too many arguments
    Last edited by Greenleaves; 02-02-2019, 04:54 PM.

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    • #3
      When I done our village show I emphasized it was a friendly commonsense event, however there was still some upset. In regards to judges I put a disclaimer that judges decision was final. I managed to get three judges from different areas that had no ties to the show with an interest to growing, crafting and cooking and I was really lucky as they did a fantastic job.

      What is the aim of your show? I know it sounds a little silly but the village show was to get people involved and raise a bit for the hall. People when they entered their lots had to say if they were happy for them to be auctioned off. I find people tend to be a little less competitive when a good cause is involved.

      Also what are the categories? any non serious ones? best taste, ugliest, veg or fruit monster etc.
      People seem to worry and that they would rather not enter than have something that isn't perfect - again a good cause helps and emphasis on friendly
      Last edited by Norfolkgrey; 02-02-2019, 05:07 PM.

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      • #4
        An old thread has a few ideas. https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...ons_69085.html

        Something like heaviest pumpkin or tallest sunflower is relatively straightforward to judge, and less open to interpretation. Maybe some fun/children’s categories too, like best scarecrow, or a ‘cakes containing hidden vegetables’.

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        • #5
          Can it be tied in to an open day? so outsiders can enter as well. Maybe have a bbq. I also done a raffle table (lots of seeds scrounged from various companies as well as donated goodies) and refreshments.

          Edit: just looked at the link in Chestnuts thread and I have to admit that much attention and judging of my plot (if I had one) would put me off and I fear it could create a divide. At least with a show you get those brave enough to show stuff but then you get the nosey beggars too.
          Last edited by Norfolkgrey; 02-02-2019, 05:24 PM.

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          • #6
            It is held at a local school, with limited facilities, so refreshments are only the usual tea, coffee and cakes.
            There are certificates for best plot overall and best newby plot (judged over all 15 sites) best plot (1 for each site) judged by the allotment society secretary. I suppose that tallest sunflower could be introduced as well, with heights measured/noted at this time. Prettiest flower bed, as well, maybe?

            All the other 19 vegetable classes are judged by an RHS judge, so their rules eg raffia ties on onions etc. I know that last year growing conditions were difficult but there were only 16 individual veg entries Generally people just don't seem interested any more.
            There are also classes for jam, marmalade, cakes with hidden veg, fruit cake, Victoria sponge, decorated cake and cupcakes. I think there maybe a chutney class as well *unsure*
            The heaviest pumpkin and best carved pumpkin, are judged later in the year, at harvest time.

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            • #7
              Free childrens classes.

              16 entries across 15 sites? how many entries are there usually. I would be walking as many sites as poss and asking people their thoughts and feelings. Are they all actually aware the show exists and when it is? There has to be more to it than it is too strict/serious.

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              • #8
                It's on the Association website and notices put on all site notice boards, perhaps the reps need to do more to ask people what they want and to publicise it. I think it would be a shame to stop it altogether...

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                • #9
                  Is it perhaps that people are more interested in how and why they grow their vegetables these days, rather than the size and uniformity of the end result?
                  He-Pep!

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                  • #10
                    Set up a Facebook group perhaps, for all of the sites? Or for individual sites and advertise it on them all? And arrange for food - everyone likes food
                    https://nodigadventures.blogspot.com/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bario1 View Post
                      Is it perhaps that people are more interested in how and why they grow their vegetables these days, rather than the size and uniformity of the end result?
                      This is what I wondered, there seems to be less community spirit, people just want to garden/grow food - but not to get involved in anything else. It's getting hard to get any working party together for site jobs that need doing, it always seems the same people (long-time allotmenteers) who offer to help.

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                      • #12
                        I am an oldie (female). I don't enter my local show as I tend to find the local old men take it seriously growing onions, leeks. carrots etc especially to show and I don't grow veg specifically to show. I have however entered bigger shows further away from home where they have had categories for things that I grow anyway ..........sweetcorn. grapes and melons. I find our local show doesn't have categories for these. I'd ask around what categories people would like to have. I think most people (including me) now grow for taste and don't really mind if our veg are a bit wonky. The younger people on our allotments don't actually seem to grow much generally and just make flying visits. I suppose it is hard to dig if you never have your phone out of your hand though.........

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Thelma Sanders View Post
                          This is what I wondered, there seems to be less community spirit, people just want to garden/grow food - but not to get involved in anything else. It's getting hard to get any working party together for site jobs that need doing, it always seems the same people (long-time allotmenteers) who offer to help.
                          Itís probably just a time issue, rather than lack of community spirit? The old timers might be retirees, and the shows/communal jobs a good opportunity for socialising. For the youngsters (I include myself in that group), the pressures of a full time job and small children mean thereís barely enough time to keep an allotment ticking over - a flying visit is all they have time for, no matter how much they love being there. Allotment extra-curriculars have to take a back seat... for now.
                          He-Pep!

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                          • #14
                            Maybe so and I can understand if that's the case. I may be completely wrong, but that's not the impression I'm getting .

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                            • #15
                              Where I used to live there were no allotments, but there was a gardening society that had an annual Village show with all the traditional classes but there were also non-serious ones for children and for fun.
                              You can guess which ones I entered!

                              I think the judges were "professionals" and WI judges for the cakes and jams - maybe the flowers too. Every cake would have a comment left on a card and some ladies would get very upset as a result!! We expected the same people to win every year - and they did.

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