Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Vegetable Olympics



It's been two years since we entered anything into the local Autumn Show in the next village. Our last experience of this Very Important Event had been heady and we had set the bar high. We weren't daunted though, in fact, after poring over the categories we decided that FIVE entries were going to be made from the Mitchell household this year. The pressure was on. We needed to limber up.



I was playing it safe and had plumped for the posy (good previous form) and mixed herb categories but eldest was ambitious and was charting new territory: miniature garden and decorated egg. Littlest was keen to reprise her success with vegetable animals. The Mr was disgruntled. His 2010 tomatoes had won Best in Show in a blaze of glory, but a disastrous 2012 tomato season meant that he had to settle for being Littlest's creative assistant. 



Eldest's miniature garden plans were inspired by our own. She wanted a shed. She hacked at a biscuit box and broke out the lollysticks. She eyed a pot of houseleeks for possible miniature cabbage lookalikes. We distracted the Sylvanian families whilst she raided their flower stall for accessories. Littlest muses are usually porcine. She decided to express this inspiration using the medium of potatoes and tomatoes and carrots (with broccoli grass). 



As ever, on the morning of the show a hush descended on the house, broken only by cross exclamations when a tomato leg fell off or a miniature shed roof wobbled. 

















It was time to take our entries to the village hall. This is always nerve-wracking. We had taken it to the wire and there was only 10 minutes left until the show closed for judging - no time to nip home for extra cosmos or miniature plastic carrots. The die was cast. After gaining special permission to take a photograph of the secret judging process (jams and preserves) we went home for lunch.


We returned to the village hall with trepidation, only to find (small drum roll) that we'd won four out of five golds (& one bronze)! Truly, we were thrilled beyond words. Not only that, our gold medals were made of chocolate, a bouncy castle had been inflated during the lunchbreak and all the entrants and their families stayed on for afternoon tea. To top it all there was an auction of the entries and despite fierce bidding I won a bottle of damson gin and a jar of lemon curd (both gold medal-winning, both beyond delicious). At the very end of the day a centurys-old and slightly unseasonal game of egg tossing (2 person team version) was played. It wasn't pretty (egg on Liberty print is not a good look) but the Mr and I came second. 



The Swaffham Prior Vegetable Olympics 2012 are over. It was as exciting to us as that other medal-winning business happening sixty or so miles away.

31 comments:

Debs Dust Bunny said...

What lovely entries and what a wonderful day! Thanks for bringing back childhood memories of our 'Fall Festivals' in the States. Congratulations on all your medals,too. Well done,everyone!

marigold jam said...

Wonderful this sort of thing is really great and so enjoyable and worth while. Well done that family and well deserved too of course.

Locket Pocket said...

Congratulations to you all! I wish we had a village show too - it's something I miss from the village I grew up in. Your photos are lovely and I bet those medals were delicious - what a clever idea!!

Lucy xxx

Sue said...

Am reminded of Milly Molly Mandy for the second time today(Knitsofacto caused the first reminiscence). I'm sure she won a prize for a miniature garden in a village show.

Well done the Pebbles! Rousing chorus of God Save the Queen.

Sue said...

Am reminded of Milly Molly Mandy for the second time today (Knitsofacto caused the first reminiscence). I'm sure MMM won a prize for her miniature garden in the village show.

Well done the Pebbles! Rousing chorus of God Save the Queen.

Su said...

Congratulations to you all, a jolly good show all round I'd say!!

Hoola Tallulah said...

A the village fete, and what a scoop of gold you had, it's like team GB all over again, I feel quite emotional. Bravo!

VintageVicki said...

An excellent result for the Pebble household :)

Got to say that little garden is lovely :)

Indigo Blue said...

Congratulations to you all. Looks like yo all had a lot of fun taking part as well. I miss taking part in events like this so those that still take place need supporting. Sorry to hear about the tomatoes, maybe next year.
x

Jane said...

What a fun day you all obviously had and gold medals too....brilliant. Loved all your entries,
Jane x

Magic Cochin said...

My giddy aunt! that was exciting!!!!

C
x

Rachel said...

Congratulations indeed - a fantastic performance!

Twiggy said...

Oh very well done. Did you see my post about my entry at the Emley Show this year - it did make me laugh ;)
I love the veggie animal and little garden. I love country shows. We had high hopes to enter some tomatoes this year but there were hardly any veg entered this year as the growing season was so awful, we've had 5 ripe tomatoes so far this year !!
Twiggy x

Toffeeapple said...

Very well done everyone! It sounds like a time of deep apprehension...

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Well many congratulations Mitchell family on your excellent results! :)
Vivienne x

menopausalmusing said...

That's it! I am definitely entering our local show next year. This all looked so brilliant. I always go to our show but never pluck up courage to enter. Next year I WILL!

Magic Bean said...

Congratulations. Did you have to stand on a purple podium? Ax

Paula said...

Well done to all of you. The miniature garden is lovely and the pig made from vegetables is brilliant.

Anonymous said...

What lovely work you do! I found my way to your blog from Ric Rac. Your home and workshop sound so quintessentially English! I am reminded of my British grandparents who came to US when my father was a young child. I used to have tea with her after school, and she would get out her best teapot and then show me her embroidered linens from when she was a girl. Santa Barbara, CA USA

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Wonderful! Well done to all :D

We missed our local show this year which was cancelled due to rain :(

If you're near Swaffham Prior we must pass within waving distance everytime we drive across to Suffolk (usually twice a year at least but 2012 has so far been Suffolkless, which is something else for me to pout about!)

driftwood said...

truly brilliant vegetable animal! congrats all round x

Thimbleanna said...

WooHoo -- Congratulations to all of you -- it sounds like you had a lot of fun!!!

just Gai said...

Well done you. Our urban village fair was cancelled this year depriving me of the opportunity to enter my customary jar of jam.

The Coffee Lady said...

You realise you sound like you made every bit of this up, don't you? It's all too perfect and too surreal.

thecraftypioneer.com said...

Being an English girl living in Australia, your post is very evocative and enjoyable

Pomona said...

You clever things! What a very talented family - they won't be wanting you to enter next year if you are going to get all the chocolates!

Pomona x

Mrs. Micawber said...

All gold medals should be chocolate. :)

Congratulations on your well-deserved wins! I think the vegetable pig is my favourite. The cloves are perfect for the snout.

kristina said...

Congratulations to the whole family! I'm going to suggest the miniature gardens to the committee for our next allotment social--I envision lots of lolly stick sheds!

K xx

angharad handmade said...

That's brilliant - well done to all! It all sounds like such fun. And if there's chocolate, even better!

Anonymous said...

I find these things bizarre and wonder why anyone would put things in a show to be judged by people who look to be set in their ways with terribly limited criteria.

They invariably get it very wrong and I must admit to finding the whole thing pathetic. I would be both outraged if I won (I mean who wants to have 'that' aethetic as judged by such strange people) and annoyed if I didn't, but hey what do they know. I mean ask about in your family what their favourite chocolates are - everyone will have something different. It is totally arbitrary yet people do really care about this and take either pride or sorrow from such events where none should be reasonally deduced.

The concept of their being a best at all is a very odd one. How can you have the best jam? We all like different flavours and different levels of sweetness/tartness for one. Vegetables should be about flavour and nothing else, but they are not tasted just gazed upon.

Don't tell me I'm taking it all too seiously because people who enter these things can be deadly serious, it matters so very much.

Grim.

Andy M said...

^^^
You sound a bit silly, cheer up!