There was a slightly plaintive reminder at the last community council meeting about entries to the village show, so – reasoning that the competition might not be so intense as usual – I stopped off on my way for the paper to pick up the schedule of entries.
Close examination suggests that the intersection of things I can successfully grow and are ready to be harvested and things that can go into the village show is quite small (and competition is likely to be fierce). Some of the categories are quite odd – who has rhubarb or six whole pods of peas* to harvest at the end of August? I don’t think I’ve even had six pods in total this year. In addition my commitment to not using any form of pesticide, combined with the depredation of Peter Bloody Rabbit and his family, mean that I’m going to struggle with anything where there’s serious competition on the quality side.
Fortunately the other half’s greenhouse vegetable empire is going great guns – does anyone else remember a children’s book about someone who had so many pot plants they ended up with basically a house-shaped mass of vegetation? it’s basically like that – so he has been informed that he will be entering the show with his tomatoes and possibly his chillies, under the ‘any other vegetable’ category.
And me? Well, I’ve decided to be ambitious and see if I can put together a basket of veg, as this allows me to use my non-standard crops such as fennel bulbs, tiny pumpkins, terrifying parsnips and any kale the rabbits deign to leave us, bulked out by the other half’s bumper tomatillo harvest. Add in my three almost perfect almost matching potatoes (selected with much consideration from half a bed’s worth of non-perfect ones), a hail mary entry in the ‘heaviest onion’ category (it had a single entry last year; I could have won with a shallot) and – of course – my secret weapon, the oddly shaped vegetable …
… and I must surely do better than second place in the ‘any other vegetable’ category that was my gardening high-water mark to date.
* Actually, I know the answer to this, as my serious village gardening pal times his pea sowings to ensure a good crop just at this time of year. I do realise I’m a just a rank amateur at this game.