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Thread: Allotment Shows

  1. #9
    bario1's Avatar
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    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?
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    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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    Thelma Sanders is online now Gardening Guru
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    Quote 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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    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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    Quote 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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  6. #14
    Thelma Sanders is online now Gardening Guru
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    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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    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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    Bluenowhere is offline Rooter
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    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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