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Mt Gravatt Show - Horticulture Competition

This year I thought it would be fun to try my hand at entering a horticultural competition.  I must say I was inspired by the adventures in River Cottage. So I looked around - the Ekka seemed far too complicated and scary for a beginner so after much web-searching the Mt Gravatt Show seemed to be a good place to start.  The entry fee was only 50c per item so I had very little to lose by entering. 


Although I made plans to enter a few months out, I didn't organise my garden around the show.  Instead it was a case of whatever's ready at the time will do.  Last week I remembered the show, so I read and re-read the entry form to make sure I wouldn't make a fool of myself by entering anything against the rules.  Well, that didn't really work because I still managed to get it wrong for 2 out of 3 items.  Oh well!  The form wasn't specific (only giving examples) and trying to get your hands on an official guide at short notice proved impossible.  So I entered anyway.


Thursday night there was much carefull scrubbing of pumpkin skin to remove dirt and polish up the skin.  Then Friday morning it was out to the garden to carefully select the best peas and the broccoli that decided to be perfectly ready in time for the show.  Snipped and de-leafed and matched pea sizes and then it was off to put them in for judgement. 


The lessons from entering started then. Apparently there should be 12 peas - not the half dozen that I'd shown up with.  Oh well, already paid for the entry so put them out anyway.  The pumpkin - well, half-breeds aren't allowed either so while it will win prizes in my kitchen, that wouldn't be the case at the show but I entered it anyway.  Then the broccoli.  It also didn't say on the form that items should be displayed on a plate.  I had heard of this in my interwebs searchings and thought to bring some but for some reason amongst the scrubbing and the matching I hadn't put any in.  Just as well the peas were packed in a takeaway container for safe transport.  The lid became their plate and the container was the broccoli's. 


Saturday - the first day of the show - we headed out with my brother and his family.  I didn't tell them about my little venture into the competitive world of gardening just in case it fell apart even more than it already had.  During the day I snuck off to the horticulture pavillion to see what had become of my vegetables.  Peas, nothing - as expected.  Pumpkin - well someone else had one first prize for their pumpkin and rightly so - it was a pure jap.  None of this half-breed business.  Then, I felt excitement rise as... Could it be?  Was it really?  Yes, it was.  A third place card next to my beautiful broccoli head.  Success! 


In a couple of hours I'll be off to pick up my entries.  They'll make a fine dinner tonight. 


I'd encourage all of you to have a go next year at your local show - it truly was fun and exciting.  Looking at the photos on here there's plenty of serious (but friendly) competition out there for next year so I'm throwing down the gauntlet.

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Comment by Vanessa Collier on July 31, 2011 at 21:12
Thanks Susan.  I'm not sure I've hit "the big leagues" with my produce but it was certainly fun and nice to have outside recognition apart from my own pride.
Comment by Susan on July 29, 2011 at 18:19

Hey Vanessa, :)

Loved hearing about your adventure, made me giggle.  At least you took it all with good humor.  I didn't even think of entering any competitions with my stuff.  I'm so proud of my little garden produce but I'd hate to think how it would hold up in "the big leagues" :)

Comment by Vanessa Collier on July 25, 2011 at 16:19

Thanks Florence. Yes, the shows at the Mt Gravatt show ground.  Best to park on a side street close by and walk to the grounds.  There's a category for potted herbs so maybe you could enter that one?


Thanks Tracy.  It did taste pretty good.

Thanks for the IT tip.  I'll get hubby to check it out - that's his domain. : )

Comment by Tracy Arnold on July 25, 2011 at 15:28

Congrats on the broccoli win.  I bet it tasted even better knowing it was champion!  

unrelated...  the problem with putting pictures in your blog post might be related to you using IE9 as your browser?  There quite a few issues with uploads using IE9.  Chrome is pretty good though. 

Comment by Florence on July 25, 2011 at 14:42
Good on you for trying Vanessa ~ now we all know we suppose to bring out own plate etc :)
I went aroud the Garden City way on the weekend and saw a small signage on the side of a road saying "Mount gravatt show  23/07 - 24/07" or something along that line, but didn't say where ... I assumed it would be the Mount gravatt show ground but didn't venture there as an unplanned trip since my mother-in-law was with us ... oh well... will try to go next year... don't think I'll have any produce to enter next year though...
Comment by Vanessa Collier on July 24, 2011 at 18:06
Thanks Elaine.  Yes I think it was a case of "everyone knows."  Oh well, now I know for next year.  Will try enter some more classes next year - the potted herb one and fruit should be do-able.  I went to pick up my vegies this afternoon and collected my prize!  Sound silly now but I wasn't actually expecting anything apart from the certificate.  I got a nice big bag of Organic Xtra and a 1L bottle of Charlie Carp.  I hardly ever fertilise apart from compost and cow poo when I plant them so my citrus trees and vegies won't know what's hit them.  I tried to put photos in the blog but it wouldn't work. : (
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 24, 2011 at 15:53
It's great fun! Nuisance about about the entry form not giving much detail, perhaps they assume that "everyone knows". There's a lot of that about! If you're with BOG you could enter their competition. I put some Radishes in the Redland show a few lifetimes ago and was the blue-card holder but there weren't any other competitors so it hardly counts. The Mango chutney didn't get a look in and as for the drawing ... Anyway to enter is important, to 'have a go' so good on you Vanessa and may you enter many more horticultural shows :-)

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