So last Sunday, with a head that felt like it was filled with aching fur, I trotted with Kasia down to Newcastle Civic Centre to have a look at the Allotment and Garden Show.
It seemed to me to be pretty well attended, although I've never been to one of these things before so I wouldn't really know. There were heaps of entrants in all sorts of categories, from mixed displays like the above, to less demanding disciplines such as "Five French Beans, on a plate". There were also a bunch of fine folks from Friends of the Earth's Bee division, handing out info about the plight of our friends from the Apoida superfamily, and a nice woman involved in a research project that's trying to build an evidence base on various aspects of "grow your own" activities, in order to persuade governments of the future to support such things. If you're interested in helping the research by weighing your produce, have a look here.
But anyway, back to the veg. And what veg! God alone knows what these guys are feeding their leeks and cabbages, but honestly, it felt like walking through a vegetable freak-show. If I hadn't been concerned with trying to avoid breathing booze-fumes over all and sundry I'd have liked to ask: what is the criteria here? There were certainly some mega-sized efforts kicking around but what else comes into it? Shinyness? Consistency? Symmetry?! And how in the name of all that's holy is it possible to grow leeks like those??!! There were plenty of notes on the entries that didn't win saying what was wrong with them, but it seemed less clear what distinguished the champions.
|Me, hungover, considering a vast cabbage.|
|Uber-Leeks, as far as the eye can see.|
|Look at the blanching on those leeks!|
|Things looking fine|
|Come on lads, you can do it|