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Sunnycroft 2014 Produce Festival is nearly here

July 28, 2014
Some of the entries from 2013 Produce Festival

Some of the entries from 2013 Produce Festival

Last year we decided to reinvent our late summer event by turning it into a produce show. We thought that it would be a great opportunity to include the local community and it would also inject an exciting new element into our annual event’s calendar.

A small committee consisting of myself and four volunteers formed to organise the main structure of the event. Because we wanted this event to invoke a small local produce show the first task was to decide on the categories in-which the exhibits would be judged. After much discussion the committee decided on the following categories.

More entries from 2013 Produce Festival

More entries from 2013 Produce Festival

Last years categories:-

Basket of vegetables
Longest runner bean
Floral arrangement in an unusual container.
Jar of fruit jam
Chutney
Cake that includes a vegetable in the ingredients
3 cup cakes made by children for ages 12 and under.
Vegetable animal made by children (under 12 yrs old)
Mini garden in a seed tray made by children (under 15 yrs old)

Presenting the Winners Certificates

Presenting the Winners Certificates

Once the main categories were decided we had to come-up with a framework of rules and criteria with-which we could judge the exhibits. Here we encountered a minefield of rules and codes of practice which have accumulated over many decades of village shows and events. After much discussion we opted for a much more simple and inclusive approach to our judging. We wanted first time growers and seasoned show growers to both feel that they could compete without the fear of disqualification for a minor discrepancy in protocol, whilst still retaining a competitive element to the show. No exhibit would be disqualified but they would be judged accordingly for there appropriate merits such as taste, size or presentation.

After the first show we decided to refresh the categories for the 2014 Produce Festival to give new challenges to our exhibitors and to retain a fresh feel to the event.

The 2014 categories are:-

  • Four types of vegetables in a basket (unrestricted amounts of each type)
  • Longest runner bean
  • Floral arrangement in an unusual container.
  • Jar of jam
  • Jar of marmalade
  • Victoria jam sponge cake
  • Homemade fruit wine
  • Cup Cakes (men only category)
  • Fairy cakes made by children (for ages 12 and under)
  • Monster made from natural materials, made by children (under 16 yrs old)
  • Garden in a seed tray made by children (under 10 yrs old)

Exhibitors gain free entry to the grounds over the weekend. Standard admission prices apply to the house. Entries need to be dropped off at the registration tent on the front lawn between 8am-10.30am Saturday 30 August. If you are organised you can print and complete the Exhibitors Entry Form to bring with you, otherwise you can complete it on the day. Items submitted for exhibiting can be collected after 3pm on Sunday and not before.

We added a musical element thanks to the very talented Gary and Kitty (a local folk duo) to embody a traditional British late summer harvest feel. In 2014 we are very please to have them back on the Sunday. This year we also have Jabina a small folk band playing on Saturday.

Folk band providing the entertainment

Folk band providing the entertainment

Other attractions were the child’s craft tent and mini beast hotel making as well as a stall selling our own produce and a bottle tombola.

Front lawn festivities

Front lawn festivities

In 2014 we are hoping to build on the success of last year by slightly changing some of the categories and adding more demonstrations of traditional crafts and skills, some of which our visitors will be able to try for themselves. We have AGA coming to show use how to cook in a real AGA oven, we have Outback2basics showing us how to light campfires and giving visitors the chance to cook on a open fire. Also there will be chair caning demonstrations and woodturning demonstrations. This year’s show is on August the 30th and 31st. Awards and raffle draw will be presented on Sunday 31 August at 3pm onwards, by the Mayor of Wellington.

If you would like more details on how to enter contact me on joel.richards@nationaltrust.org.uk

Joel Richards
Sunnycroft Gardener

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