As a kid, I devoured every PG Wodehouse novel I could find and got through the Blandings books in not much time at all. There was something wonderful about both the comedy and the setting – London in a simpler time, and all you needed for drama was a country house and the right mix of people. Even murders weren’t required!
A feature of the Blandings books in particular, and occasionally the other Wodehouse novels, was the country fayre, and/or the village show, in which produce, baked goods and animals were displayed in an attempt to win the much coveted accolade of ‘best big’ or ‘best soft fruits’. Of course, living in Malaysia, such things were far beyond my experience, and even now, after 5 years of living in a big country house (boarding school) and 18 years living in the UK, I haven’t actually been to a village show. OK, one country fayre (in which my mother-in-law’s dog one a rosette at the dog show), but certainly no produce competitions.
And after a summer of growing things, the produce competition was actually quite interesting! Photos follow.
Amanda’s asked if I’m going to put myself forward for it next year. I’m not sure – I’m reasonably confident that we produced more impressive yellow courgettes and more impressive Apples than some that were on display, but — it’s all in the timing for the courgette, and we did only succeed in growing two apples (yet to be tasted) – so unlikely.
The boards were swept by a single master-grower, though, so think things will be stacked against me if I do decide to compete. I think I’ll stay happy growing food for our own consumption…