Last weekend I volunteered to help out at my local Allotment Show, they were a bit short on numbers, so I helped out on the refreshment stall, we all need a cup of tea and piece of cake from time to time.

It was a perfect way to have a behind the scenes look at the show.

It has given me more ideas of what to grow and the different classes in the show to enter.

My children entered the children’s classes and even won a first and second place. So, next year it’s game on. My children even fancy growing some flowers, especially the Dahlias and Begonias.

Capel St Mary is a village on the outskirts of Ipswich in Suffolk. They hold a two-day Flower and Produce Show the first weekend of September annually and this was their 41st year.

They have over 360 members and 90 members who rent a plot.

It is a hugely popular village event and is attended well from the wider community. Entries are also welcome from non-members too, it features over 120 classes including produce, fruit, handicraft, cookery, photography and the children’s classes.

The hard work from the committee was evident, setting up the event, receiving the exhibits, judging, and of course taking pleasure in viewing other people’s hard work growing, baking stitching, painting etc. A slick rota was drawn up by the Show Secretary, Wendy Russell, to ensure that the event ran smoothly. There were refreshments, teas, coffees and homemade cakes on offer, guess the name of the teddy and the Grand Draw and many more.

What a lovely collection of classic vegetables, those leeks look delicious! We are thinking about which flower to grow from a bulb, corm or tuber next year. The plates of fruit were lovely, perfectly shaped. The varieties were lovely to see, showing visitors that there are other types out there, instead of the basic tasteless supermarket ones.

These baskets makes me think of my childhood at school, collecting vegetables from the garden for the Harvest Festival at the local church.

We are going to have a Pumpkin growing competition next year, what is your favourite?

This produce show in Capel St Mary is a lovely show to visit and I was lucky enough to be invited to help out.

It certainly gives you plenty of ideas with what to try next year and enter yourself.

Visitors come from far and wide to exhibit and visit. It speaks for its self as it is in its 41st year.

For more information about Capel St Mary Allotments Association please visit, http://www.capelallotments.co.uk or visit their new Facebook Page by searching for Capel Allotments.

Sue Russell

One of my earliest memories; helping my Mum and Dad weed the veggie plot and collecting chicken eggs from the chooks at the end of the garden. I grew up on a farm as a child and always had my own piece of land to grow and learn with, so I suppose its in the blood!
In my mid twenties, I re trained in Horticulture (Professional Gardening ANCH) and set up my own Gardening business working for clients in the Suffolk/Essex area. For the last thirteen years Ive had the pleasure of working on a private twenty five acre estate tending to the grounds.
Most recently, eighteen months ago, I joined the team at Thompson and Morgan in the Customer Care department.
Also season ticket holder at Ipswich Town Football Club!!

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