NVS Championship Vegetable Show

We attended the NVS National Championships on Saturday. It’s in the Pavilion, Llangollen which is a rather impressive, modernistic super-tent building. Val actually sang at an Eisteddfod there many years ago. Been a few changes since!

Unfortunately for the NVS, they’d been let down quite badly by someone who was helping to organise the event. The farmer’s market didn’t materialise and there weren’t many trade stands there.

This meant that the event wasn’t attracting as many members of the public as hoped. Usually the society picks up quite a few new members at the championships but most of the visitors were already members.

Still, the NVS displays are worth going for on their own in my opinion. There’s always confusion about the competition. People think it’s giant vegetables but it’s not; it’s best examples which often tend to be larger than usual. Size isn’t everything.

There was a display of entries by local school and pre-school children, who had been given 1000 window boxes to get them started with the growing bug. Their entries were all made from recycled materials.

The AGM went smoothly. It was tinged with sadness for two reasons. Firstly Medwyn Williams stepped down as chairman but the society didn’t let him go that easily, he was elected president and so is still involved albeit in an honorary role,

Secondly Ann Griffiths was awarded a silver medal for herself and accepted a posthumous gold medal for her husband Dick. He’ll be sorely missed in both the Welsh branch and the society as a whole.

Later there was a meal at a local hotel which gives everyone chance for a good chat. I took the opportunity to pick the brains of some of the best vegetable growers you could meet. The consensus is that my only hope is to grow on raised beds or move house. I can grow on clay, I can grow on sand but growing on rock is beyond me!

There will be a full report on the show on the NVS web site soon but these photos should give you the flavour.


Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
2 comments on “NVS Championship Vegetable Show
  1. Adrian H says:

    Hi John,

    I went to the NVS Championships today (Sunday). First time we have been and to be honest, probably the last. Whilst the veges on display were impressive, we were very disappointed that the publicised farmers market was basically non-existent (The chap selling tickets said it wasn’t as big as they’d hoped… I think there were maybe 3 stalls). Considering Marshall’s were sponsoring the event I would have at least expected the to have a stand.

    Maybe I was expecting more, but I thought there would be chance to purchase seeds for some of these exhibition varieties (as very few appear in normal seed-supplier catalogues, perhaps with demonstrations on how the vegetables are grown to exhibition standard, and perhaps something explaining how the judges made there decisions (we saw several displays that in our opinion were better then the winners, and perhaps if there had been something more detailed explaining how their decisions were made then we could have understood the decisions better.

    I know they said they were let down by someone but surely an event of this size should have had more than one person trying to organise these things.

  2. John says:

    The championships were organised by the Welsh branch this year and a number of members were involved. Unfortunately they’d been misled by someone (not in the NVS) who had told them he had organised the farmers market and so forth. Left in the lurch at the altar so to speak.

    Judges are usually expert show growers themselves (although that’s not required) However, they have attended courses and taken exams to ensure they can judge within the laid down criteria for each individual vegetable or class. Only very experienced judges are used for the nationals.

    Although you (and me!) may think their decisions were wrong, they are looking for things we might not. It’s all laid out in the handbook. You can’t really expect a quick card explaining the ins and outs of something these guys have spent years learning.

    You and I will grow things like leeks and onions from seed but the top show growers will be using vegetative propagation. One chap who came 2nd with his beans was very proud that the winner had grown from seed privately supplied by him.

    There’s a few articles on the site now about show growing that might help you gain some insight. Show Growing

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