TESTING MY PRODUCE IN COMPETITIVE NAUL & DISTRICT GARDENING CLUB SHOW – THIRD WEEK IN SEPTEMBER 2011

I look forward to all horticultural shows, and the show put on by the Naul Gardening Club is famous throughout the island of Ireland. Accents from Carrickfergus to Carlow mingle with the dead pan humour of North County Dublin and neighbours from Meath. Over 700 entries made up the vibrant displays, and it was the gladioli, dahlias, roses, pot plants and floral arrangements which caught the eye first of any visitor coming to admire the show in Clann Mhuire GAA Sportshall.

However the more understated displays, the photography, crafts, baking , preserves, fruit and vegetables all shone and impressed the judges and spectators alike. Trevor’s Kitchen Garden entered in three categories and the entrance fee for each entry was the princely sum of 50c each, great value!

Carefully, before 10am on Saturday, I laid out my best looking six French beans and nearby six fairly uniform runner beans. Amongst the dessert apple entries, I displayed five of my best and most uniform looking James Grieve apples. Each card with the entrant’s name is left upsidedown on the table to ensure no bias in the judging.

On Sunday we returned after the judges had been and gone. Whaddaya know, I picked up a second prize for my apples and two third prizes for the bean entries. Like the entry fee, the prize money is meant as an acknowledgement. €3 for first – €2 for second – €1 for third. Technically, I could have gone home having made a profit! However, better to leave the cash with the organisers in the hope they are up for holding the show again this time next year. Who knows, I may have something to enter from my greenhouse next year!

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