Stag­ing smaller veg­eta­bles

Med­wyn pon­ders whether it’s worth stag­ing smaller, but per­fectly formed, veg­eta­bles at shows

Garden News (UK) - - What To Do -

Acou­ple of weeks ago I had a very con­struc­tive con­ver­sa­tion with a top ex­hibitor re­gard­ing vegetable col­lec­tions, in par­tic­u­lar re­gard­ing us­ing smaller sized veg­eta­bles within them. We were dis­cussing the use of onions that weigh just over 250g (8oz), which means they are, there­fore, judged as large onions and out of 20 points. Had they weighed un­der 250g (8oz) they would’ve been judged as a 15-point dish.

Let’s as­sume the dish of onions were in re­ally good con­di­tion and uni­form in ev­ery way and the judge, in the worse sce­nario, might award zero points for size. Many though may award one or even two points as they might not want to award a zero mark. As the size is only a quar­ter of the full marks, and as the onions are small, they could very well get some high points for the re­main­ing cat­e­gories.

Another ex­am­ple could be the pop­u­lar three veg­eta­bles col­lec­tion, where the sched­ule asks for three kinds of veg­eta­bles (worth 20 points each), two of each kind. Th­ese are usu­ally staged on a black cloth with of­ten two large onions or leeks, long parsnips and car­rots as well as pos­si­bly cel­ery. Th­ese veg­eta­bles are beau­ti­ful to look at and of­ten fill up the space al­lowed for each en­try.

Do you think we could ever get to see, in the same class, three veg­eta­bles staged on a din­ner plate lined with black vel­vet? Let’s imag­ine a sce­nario where an ex­hibitor stages two pota­toes weigh­ing 55g (2oz) each, two pods of peas and two small onions just over 250g (8oz). Let’s also imag­ine the pota­toes are near per­fect in ev­ery way, the peas could be 15cm (6in) long with no marks on the pods, well-filled with bloom and ca­lyx at­tached. The onions, though small, would be judged ac­cord­ing to onions over 250g (8oz). This dish could be awarded the fol­low­ing points: pota­toes 14, peas 18, onions 13, with a to­tal of 45 points from a max­i­mum of 60.

Not a bad score at all. This, of course, is a fig­ment of my imag­i­na­tion, but I’m hop­ing I might get a few com­ments on the above sce­nario. What do you think?

A well-formed pea pod with 14 peas

Which one do you think should score more: the big­ger or smaller potato?

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