Hmm – well, the plans for the balcony project have been disrupted slightly. I picked up an entry form for the local flower and veg show yesterday. I thought it might be fun for the apprentice and me to try to enter a few things.

Of the fruit classes, the only one I am sure I will have is rhubarb – but that is OK – I can enter rhubarb.

I should point out, at this stage, that I have never entered a show before so I have ZERO knowledge of what the judges will be looking for! So I suppose that means that it doesn’t really matter WHAT I enter as I don’t know what criteria to select by 🙂

Oh well, game for a laugh.

So, I have rhubarb. I have no idea if I should be doing anything different to my rhubarb to prepare it for it’s show debut. Whether I should be performing some bizarre ritual like growing the shoots up a tube to make them longer – or feeding it some weird cocktail of illegal drugs to make it a pretty colour. To me, rhubarb is rhubarb and if it makes a good crumble then it must be good rhubarb – so I will enter rhubarb 🙂

On the veg list is French beans. Now this is a veg that I have only grown once or twice, mostly because they are a late sower and by the time it is time to get them in the ground I have forgotten about things like sowing seeds 😦 However, I do know that you can grow climbing French beans. So I am wondering if they will work on my balcony. I keep a box of old seeds from previous years etc, and I knew that in the box were some old packs of seeds that a friend gave me. Sure enough, there is a pack of standard “Blue Lake” climbing French beans. Just what I need. But……there are also assorted packs of novelty French beans. There are purple podded Purple King spotty Borlotto Firetongue golden Mont d’Or and (also yellow) Kingston Gold

This was starting to look quite exciting. Dreams of outstanding entries for the show carrying off every prize in sight for them flashed before my eyes. The trouble is (in show terms) is a French bean still a French bean if it isn’t green? I have absolutely no idea. Will purple French beans be allowed past the entry gate? And what makes a show grade French bean? Should they be a certain length? or grow in a heart shape? If I tried really hard, I could probably get them to grow as letters – you never know, it might take off like alphabet spaghetti 😉

Oh well I suppose, for now, the thing is to get them sown and growing in the kitchen, find some extra space in the balcony plan, and worry about how to produce the perfect pod when I have some plants to grow them on.

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