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Allotment Shows


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  • #16
    We wouldn’t dream of entering our plot in the society competition, it’s well advertised on the noticeboard and sent our via our allotment newsletter email and webpage with details of all the categories. Even though everyone commented on how well we had done we didn’t think our plot was anywhere good enough for entering the newby plot category. I would suggest that the societies could help themselves little post comp newsletter with photos of the ‘shortlist’ and winners would encourage us if we could see plots like ours rather that immaculate plots of retirees who spend all day every day on the allotment - as apparently they have been struggling for entries in the plot categories across all the sites in our area.

    As for the veg show, no chance!

    Our site plot of the year involves the committee making a short list during the summer plot inspection, the shortlist is circulated and all plotholders get to vote for the plot of the year.

    I wouldn’t enter veg in a show mainly as I grow organically so not trying to get perfection let along a number of identical ones.
    Also while I appreciate I could google exactly what the RHS criteria are in order to enter I suspect they are so perdantic, the raffia you mention being required for example, that it would take the fun out of it for normal growers and make the show seem super serious and for a certain clique.

    I would say you need to add some fun categories, wonkiest carrot, fattest parsnip, cabbage with most hidden slugs that everyone could enter with no effort and dispense with the more arcane rules for the classic categories, as long as you have three onions what does it matter how they are tied.

    I suspect that the newer plot holders aren’t interested as it may sound like too much work to prepare for the show if there are precise presentation rules and potentially they have heard horror stories of people getting disqualified either by judges of due to the comments of other entrants on too much/little foliage on a carrot etc. Trouble is at these type of shows even with more entrants it always seems to be the same two old boys who take it very seriously and grow to show winning everything and that rather demoralises everyone else from entering which happened at a former village show who used RHS rules.


    • #17
      You didn't mention flower categories either - really adds to the smell factor. single rose (was popular-ish), 3 stems the same, jam jar arrangement.

      Edit: Is it worth reminding yourself of the vine shows - toms, 3 beans and any thing else always seem to be the more popular.
      Last edited by Norfolkgrey; 03-02-2019, 05:42 PM.


      • #18
        I think people who participate in shows are in some cases different to people who grow.

        I for instance have a plots are for growing not for showing. Others on our plots spend the whole year preparing for shows, some veg, some flowers and some both, then discard what never made the show bench.


        • #19
          On the community spirit issue.

          On our site we have three issues on the helping out, going to allotment summer party etc which makes us less keen to be Ďcommunity mindedí
          1. Working parties etc often announced at short notice, fine if you are retired so can rearrange things or not busy at weekends but I have only two days off a week in which to organise my life so other commitments are often organised months ahead, giving me two three weeks notice isnít enough.
          2. The clique of committee/long termers. Yes we appreciate you have been helping out for years and all know each other and you do the same things each year but that doesnít mean we are untrustworthy and only capable of collecting sticks and not being told what the plan is while you all have access to the committee shed for hot drinks and get the important jobs while ordering us about. I manage to do a pretty important job 5 days a week so I donít want to spend my weekend being treated like a five year old begging to help out. You asked for volunteers remember not the other way round.
          3. The said old timers breaking half the rules, including dumping crap at the back of our plot as the main compost heap was closed and they couldnít be bothered to adhere to the new rule of composing on your own plot all the while complaining to the committee about what newbies are doing (letting a bed be covered in weeds - when most amusingly she was growing Chinese mix salad with zero weeds) while no one listens to any of the Ďnewbies, complaints about them or does anything about it, leaving us to clear up said mess on our own.

          Itís easy to miss the above happening if you are part of the clique so perhaps something similar is/has happened on your site.

          Perhaps no one wants to rock the boat being new especially if you have been waiting years for a plot, itís just easier to keep your head down do what needs doing, speak to nice plot neighbours and go home, rather than talking to everyone out of politeness and going to the community minded bits (as my Nan used to say if you donít have anything nice to say say nothing at all).


          • #20
            Originally posted by Norfolkgrey View Post
            Edit: Is it worth reminding yourself of the vine shows - toms, 3 beans and any thing else always seem to be the more popular.
            Its also worth remembering that even in a virtual show there are still people who dispute whether the entries were valid - were they really the "tallest" sunflower? The heaviest pumpkin? How were they measured?
            Some people are so serious and competitive and feel cheated if they don't win. I'm sure its even worse in a "real" show..


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