Thursday, March 24, 2011

The post that wasn't

I went to the Edible Garden Show last Friday.

I was going to tell you all about it. On, say, about Saturday.

Could have done with this advice this week, really

Then Sunday came along and it was lovely and sunny outside and my first earlies were just itching to get in the ground and... well....

So it turned into Monday. And there was a big deadline going on and panicky emails flying.

And then Tuesday came around and.... well, you get the picture.

A fine crop of forced rhubarb at the Potting Shed display

So I meant to write a much better, more pertinent, more insightful post; one which highlighted a few of the rather gorgeous things at the show, like Joy Michaud's covetable dark purple leaved chilli seedlings (new variety: 'Fairy Lights' - one of which is now snuggled down in a 10cm pot in my greenhouse) and the funky (but possibly rather impractical) water butt on show at the Urban Allotment stand.

Funky... but wouldn't survive five minutes in my hugger-mugger garden I'm afraid

I meant to give some pithy comments about how the show had a bit of growing into itself to do: the venue was small and a little on the gloomy side (taking pictures was an interesting exercise in holding the camera still long enough for the agonisingly slow shutter speed to go through its paces).

Yeeeesss.... photography was not easy in these conditions. In focus, these are the rather wonderful 'Fairy Lights' chillies I failed to resist

And it tried to be all things to all (wo)men: cookery shows jostled shoulders with James Wong and his Incredible Edibles, just a short stone's throw from a tiny marquee full of snuffly pigs, impossibly fluffy chickens and slightly smelly goats (are there any other kind?). And for me there wasn't enough of anything.
Inbuilt crop protection from Home Grown Revolution: practical, sturdy, but why do things made for allotments have to be so darn ugly?

I meant to express the hope that next year, they'll do the same thing again, but this time they won't dramatically underestimate the level of interest: when I arrived, ten minutes before the show even opened, the carpark was already packed and there was a queue out of the door. So much for the GYO movement peaking. Next year I'm hoping to see a venue triple the size (and preferably at least partly outside in deference to people taking photographs).

Uhh.... hello

Instead you will have to read the eminent Emma Cooper, who was also there and got her act together far better than me, as well as bagging the most adorable piggy photo ever (although I think her other half may have had something to do with that).

And if you didn't make it to Stoneleigh Park yourself, you can be transported right there, courtesy of the National Farmers' Union, with a little film which I shall now shamelessly borrow.

But although it's a week out of date, and like too-old cheeses the joke is a little stale, I couldn't resist sharing this: it tickled me pink (though I am easily tickled).

Well.... it does say 'Invisible', but I think they may be taking things a little literally...


VP said...

Glad you posted this and Emma too. Seeing the show got cancelled last year, perhaps it's wise it was on the small side and hopefully future organic growth will mean it gets to be a sizeable show in time.

The timing's a bit tricky though isn't it? We're all as keen as mustard for this kind of show (as the crowds atest) yet we're all beavering away getting our spring jobs done, there's not a lot to show cropwise yet (thus restricting exhibits burgeoning with luscious fruit and veg) and the weather can be dodgy.

I hope to go next year.

The Constant Gardener said...

Hello VP, yes organic growth is probably where it's at. I would have thought the attendance this year would have encouraged them to expand at least a bit next year though.

And you're quite right about the timing: actually the rhubarb wasn't the only thing that was forced :D there were loads of six-inch high bean plants and young tomato plants way ahead of where they usually are, as well as a full stand of Brussels sprouts in the display in the foyer! So I guess that's how they'll get round it. But show gardens etc will never be an option.

Alice said...

It sounds like you had a great time ant the garden show People are doing vegetable gardening more and more, it should get bigger each year.

Arabella Sock said...

That all looks interesting - I shall try and get there next year. I wonder if the 'fairy lights' chillies are similar to my 'purple venezuelan'. I'm growing from seed and they have just sprouted which I am pleased about as apparently they can be a bit tricky. The leaves are supposed to end up a dark purpley black and already bear the same tinge of colour as the ones in your picture. All I need to do now is figure out where all the seeds I am growing will eventually live in my small garden..

The Constant Gardener said...

Alice - yes I think you're right, it's showing no sign of stopping (thank goodness as it's what I like to do best :D)

Arabella - I bet they have a similar parentage. I also managed to germinate some chilli seeds for the first time ever this year (yay!) and they're a purple variety, 'Purple Tiger' which I'm really looking forward to. They don't have the green/purple thing going on though - just plain purple so far. Never mind if you like chillies or not - they are gorgeous, gorgeous plants.

And I have just the same problem as you re seeds...

camillap said...

Glad to read your report - another show to put in the diary for next year. That water butt is quite streamlined and I like the watering can tidy; but I couldn't have it in my garden as first impressions make me think of an upside down urinal.

The Constant Gardener said...

ah - a urinal! That's what it was reminding me of! That's been bugging me ever since I saw it :D

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one to plan a timely post only to have life take over and prevent it. I think I need the sign from your first image prominently displayed somewhere, perhaps above the kettle as I am so often stood there waiting for it to boil and thinking about all the things I should be doing but haven't quite got around to...

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