Saturday 8 September 2012

Knowing your onions

Today is the village flower and produce show and whilst it is all very friendly, I would like to keep my record intact and win at least one First certificate! So it was a bit of a blow to find that of the six onions put to one side, in order to choose the three best to exhibit, only one was in good shape. Last year the onions had not stored well and this season I experimented with autumn sown sets that I planted last September. The wet summer had produced a record crop of massive onions and I was confident that once again I would give the local Norfolk bors some competition. So it was a bit upsetting to find that not only had most of my best onions developed neck rot but two thirds of the onions that should have lasted us all winter were also affected.

Of course, the wet weather was to blame and it seems that my considerable efforts to give the onions a good dose of sunburn had not been enough to kill the fungi that was all around us this year.

I like to support the village show (and the people that work so hard to keep these community events going) so I managed to find three onions that are roughly the same size but I think the old bors will be sniggering at my efforts. At least only my pride will have suffered and we won't be facing starvation this winter but it made me realize just how fragile the cultivation of food is and how just a bit too much rain at the wrong time can ruin a year's hard work.

So how will my onions fare against the competition? Check back after 4pm, when I'll be posting an update live from the show! I'm pinning my hopes on the cucumber to bring in a First!

I just peddled back up the hill and was surprised to find that my cucumber had been passed over and not even placed but the onions had got a first. Then something even more surprising happened during the prize giving when I was chatting and not paying much attention. People were turning round and beckoning - I'd won a cup and a gift voucher - the onions were the best vegetable!! So, some compensation for losing so many to rot.

Fortunately my main onion rival was well into his 3rd pint by then so was not too miffed.


  1. Good luck John! Are those grapes yours too? They look DELICIOUS.

  2. Hope you don't get sniggered at by the old bors, John.

    And good luck with that cucumber!

  3. Yes the grapes are mine and they are delicious - they got 2nd in the 'other fruit' - I realized this morning that I ate the best bunch a few days ago!

  4. Congrats John. The judges know something about onions after all. Here's to great suprises!

  5. Always knew you knew your onions, John. Brilliant job!