Erratic weather and difficult growing conditions are not, it seems, deterring Britain’s army of amateur growers, who have been plodding on regardless and producing a plentiful harvest of fruit and vegetables to be proud of.
The Three Counties Agricultural Society (TCAS) – organiser of this weekend’s Malvern Autumn Show (29 & 30 September), is reporting a dramatic increase in entries for the event’s popular Open Gardening competition this year – up by 100 on 2011.
So abundant are the exhibits in the Show’s Harvest Pavilion, that show stewards are even predicting a few record-breakers too, particularly in the much-loved giant vegetable section, which only last year, included a monster marrow weighing in at a staggering 171 lbs!
Said Sharon Gilbert, PR & Marketing Manager for TCAS: “The Show’s Harvest Pavilion is always a draw for visitors, not to mention journalists and photographers too, who are inevitably captivated by the giant vegetables on account of their mammoth proportions.
In the past few years, we have definitely seen a resurgence in the concept of grow your own, largely because families are having to cut household bills, but also because there is a renewed interest in the provenance of the food we put on our table.
We are not surprised that this year’s crop of fruit and vegetable entries is so high, and hope the trend continues!”
In addition to the giant vegetables, the Pavilion houses exhibits of apples, dessert pears, and soft fruit, together with perfect specimens of flowers and plants ranging from Fuchsias and Dahlias to Chrysanthemums and Cacti.
It is also home to the prestigious National Vegetable Society Championships, featuring competitors from all over the UK.
There are a whole host of classes and a number of awards and commendations up for grabs. There are also classes for juniors, and for those who have never exhibited at a major show before.
The Malvern Autumn Show is organised by the Three Counties Agricultural Society and takes place at the Three Counties Showground, in Malvern, Worcestershire this weekend.
Other attractions include edible gardens, a Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show and Plant Theatre, the Good Life Pavilion and Cookery Stage with celebrity chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli, live landscaping demonstrations, native livestock, an artisan food and craft market, exquisite crafts, Horse Boarding and Llama Agility, forestry and superb shopping.