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