I therefore harvested as normal on the Wednesday and Friday before the show.
The shallots I dug up on Wednesday were reasonable. One plant produced only three shallots but they were a really good size so I put them aside after removing the outer loose skins.
I dug out the rest of the row of Kestrel potatoes and a plant or two of the Charlotte, King Edward and Sarpo Mira. The Sarpo Mira foliage is still green and flourishing so the tubers are probably still swelling but they are very scabby so they weren't suitable for showing. The foliage on the others has already died back so they should be dug out as soon as possible, otherwise the slugs will have a field day.
Back home I found three good tubers of Charlotte but all the others had purple colouring round the eyes so I didn't know whether they were whites or reds!
I also dug out most of my onions as they were ready to harvest. However, when I tried to take off the outer split skins I got down to patches of white or red flesh; not within the class description in the schedule!
On the Friday I harvested my first real pickings of Runner Beans and got half a carrier bag full. I then picked over the row of French Beans and got a good load to take home. I also harvested a few Beetroot that were roughly tennis ball size, leaving the two or three huge ones for another day as they are probably too tough to eat - Beetroot juice?
Then I realised the carrots next to the beetroot, that have been growing steadily under the fleece tunnel (to keep out the Carrot Fly) were ready. Since they store well I decided to dig out the whole row to leave room for a late sowing of beetroot or turnips. When they came out of the soil I thought one or two might be good enough to show.
At home on Friday evening I checked over the crops and sorted out those that were reasonable, assuming that most would be bettered by the experts amongst the other allotmenteers. When I checked online what to do with the onions I discovered that I should have lifted them several weeks ago to ripen them so put them to one side in the garage.
At the show, having just selected specimens to show from my normal cropping I was very surprised, and a little embarrassed, to find that 5 of my 6 entries were prizewinners.
My intention to enter ordinary (non-prizewinning) specimens to encourage others to show normal crops may have backfired - unless you, having read this, are wont to try next year.
I hope you do!