“If no one enters items for the show then there is no show” was said to me a long time ago but remains the reason I enter classes with sometimes little hope of being placed. One year I entered some pretty poor courgettes (the best I had) in a class where there was only one other entry. I came third!
This year on studying the village show schedule I felt I could enter 19 flower and veg classes. Being a great cook my husband entered 18 items into the cookery and preserve classes and came away with 2 cups but that’s another story.
Rain was forecast for the morning of the show so I decided to gather my exhibits the night before. The added advantage being a later start in the morning and far less stress! I was still however up at 7am to walk dogs, feed chickens, etc. before checking the exhibits, replacing ones that had wilted and trying to find a box to hold all the vases.
Arriving at the village show it was a mad dash to place all the exhibits before the 10am cut-off. My nasturtiums certainly looked in with a chance but the number and quality of entries to the sweet pea class made me hesitate before deciding to hide mine at the back.
Having volunteered to steward for the veg judge it was really interesting to gain an insight as to what made him smile with pleasure at some exhibits yet tut and shake his head at others. The giantest of the giant leeks looked perfect to me but no-one had bothered to wash the roots so they didn’t come first. The longest and straightest of the carrots didn’t have the bloom of freshness and so again, didn’t come first. “I reckon they’ve been pulled for a week and probably entered in another show” mumbled the judge as he selected some fresher looking but shorter ones for 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
Of course I kept quiet when we reached the classes that I had entered. “Don’t like the colour of those” he announced when looking at my black tomatoes but my pretty borlotti beans did the trick and won a first.
When judging was over I had a quick check to see how I’d done in the flower class. Yes, 1st prize for my nasturtiums and also for my lovely specimen rose Tequilla Sunrise. A few other 2nds and 3rds made me walk a bit taller and feel that the early morning had been worthwhile. Slightly lessened when I saw all the 1sts won by my husband but that’s show business!