September I: 9 entries at the village show

Early September means the Ickenham and Swakeleys Horticultural Association Show.

I have been competing since 2013, steadily increasing my range of entries from a start solely including tomatoes and apples.

This year I entered 9 classes and achieved 5 first prizes, 3 second prizes and 1 third prize, with the greatest satisfaction coming from winning the stump carrots class against high quality opposition (the overseer of the village allotment sites).

Pictures are below:


Although not all crops are optimal in the first week of September, shows like this do add a discipline to growing, allow experimentation and give you an indication as to whether your growing skills are progressing or not.

Author: Rhys

Rhys trained as a research biologist, working for a decade in the cancer research charity sector, before completing an MBA and working in management consultancy, technology transfer and early technology investment spaces, mostly working with UK academics to turn their scientific discoveries into value for society. AS a younger man, he was fascinated with mountains, both climbing them and ski-ing down them. Whilst living in Scotland, he completed a round of (then) all 277 Munros, the independent mountains over 3000ft originally complied as a list by Munro. He also spent his holidays representing the Ski Club of GB, as a Representative and Party Leader between 1990 and 1997. During that time, he found to his bemusement that he was able to predict, without understanding fully why, to a remarkable degree of accuracy, when good snow conditions would occur in the Alps, gaining an unworthy reputation for predictive genius in 1990 when predicting the evolution of the 1989/90 winter in Wengen, Switzerland for his CEO boss. He used this skill for the next seven years to ensure that he enjoyed powder snow pretty much every time he went ski-ing. An MD student he was training in Oxford also impressed his wife by taking Rhys' advice about when to take her to Italy in the mid 1990s! In recent years, Rhys has turned his mind toward how to grow prize tomatoes, winning several prizes in local and London shows and has, in the past 3 years, moved toward taking over a 50 square metre urban vegetable patch, which he has turned into a no-dig area since autumn 2014.

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