Golden Turnips and Grey Skies

We’re getting quite good at our open days and sales but this weekend’s Country Show took us to a new level.  We squeezed every ounce of goodwill from the gardeners to produce rain cover (the forecast was bad), fantastic raffle prizes, music, children’s craft and face-painting, shed decorating and amazing cakes.  Not to mention the competition entries – vegetables, cakes and preserves and our more creative category which included a self-portrait with vegetables and the vegetable most like a mayor.  Our three judges, Scarlett Cannon, Eloise Dey and Gavin Jenkins took their task very seriously and assiduously.  The icing on the cake (though I doubt he’d like to be described as any kind of cake decoration) was Joe Swift who was generous with his time, gracious, charming… and, of course, down-to-earth.

Squash carved with self portrait
Freya’s magnificent self-portrait carved into a squash.
The 'Tyre' family girls reading out the raffle prizes.
The ‘Tyre’ family girls reading out the raffle prizes.
Golden beetroot with rosette
Dellores’s golden beetroot won a golden turnip for best in category.
Large cabbages
Cabbages. This magnificent display came from one allotment (organic) in Tower Hamlets – Winterton House.

three judges
Judges (Eloise Dey, Scarlett Cannon and Gavin Jenkins) being judicious.
Face-painting by Charlotte and children's crafts with Katie.  Kept 'em busy.
Face-painting by Charlotte and children’s crafts with Katie. Kept ’em busy.
Joe Swift and scissors.
Joe Swift opens our shed!
Jams and Preserves
Jams and Preserves
Joe Swift gives a golden turnip to the Wilton Estate.  They won SIX rosettes.
Joe Swift gives a golden turnip to the Wilton Estate. They won SIX rosettes.
Jane and Dell, the magnificent cake women.
Jane and Dell, the marvellous cake women.
Table with tomatoes, cucumbers and other produce
Competition table for grown produce.
Zinnias and dye label.
Nat’s beautiful labels explain what we’re up to.
Damian receives a replica shed (made by Jonathan Faiers) to thank him for all his works.
Damian receives a replica shed (made by Jonathan Faiers) to thank him for all his works.

Three plaster turnips sprayed gold.
The golden turnips presented to the best entry in each category. Hackney was renowned for its turnips in the 17th and 18th centuries.