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Our ambition is to tour Can You Dig It? to every county in the UK.

Jo enters her first vegetable show

If you have seen Can You Dig It? then you will know that we delve into the mysterious world of competitive vegetable growing in Dan’s excellent song The World’s Hottest Red Hot Chilli. The song is all made up because neither of us has actually entered a show before. But at the end of this month I am planning to change that when I attempt to display some of my allotment produce at the Harrow in Leaf annual show. It is all very daunting but thankfully Harrow in Leaf have produced a useful guide entitled Don’t Be Afraid Of Showing so I am trying very hard not to be afraid. There is a lot at stake. It costs 20p to enter a category but the minimum fee is £1 so I have decided to enter FIVE categories.

The trouble is that I am not growing that many things eligible to enter. However, I am hoping that I will have the 10 French beans (of the same length) needed to enter the “beans – non runner” category and three beetroot for the beetroot category (75mm tops, whatever that means). I also plan to enter the “pumpkins or squashes” category with two patty pan squash. It is very complicated because they must be the same size and the ideal size for patty pan squash is 3 inches across but the one I have in the kitchen at the moment is too big at five inches across so I must harvest two more but keep measuring them to ensure optimum girth. The other two categories I am aiming for are “novice jam” with the blackberries that have started ripening on my plot and “floral art”. I am considering entering the “basket full of posies” class. As Dan knows, from our failed attempt to get on a gardening TV show, I am quite a good flower arranger.

It is all quite exciting but I don’t really know why I am bothering as last year’s results make it clear that J Harding usually wins most things and J Hillier also does very well. Maybe this year it will be J Stephenson. You never know.

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