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  • veggiechicken
    replied
    Originally posted by Norfolkgrey View Post
    Edit: Is it worth reminding yourself of the vine shows - https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...able-showcase/ 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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  • Bluenowhere
    replied
    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).

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  • Greenleaves
    replied
    I think people who participate in shows are in some cases different to people who grow.

    I for instance have a saying..my 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.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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 - https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...able-showcase/ toms, 3 beans and any thing else always seem to be the more popular.
    Last edited by Norfolkgrey; 03-02-2019, 05:42 PM.

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  • Bluenowhere
    replied
    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.

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  • veggiechicken
    replied
    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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  • Thelma Sanders
    replied
    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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  • bario1
    replied
    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.

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  • greenishfing
    replied
    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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  • Thelma Sanders
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • SarrissUK
    replied
    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

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  • bario1
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • Thelma Sanders
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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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  • Thelma Sanders
    replied
    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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