Described in the Times as “Learn about growing – and cooking – you own fruit and veg and poultry keeping” did not do this show justice in my humble opinion.
The show was held in Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire – home also to the the Royal Agricultural Society of England. This was the first ever national show dedicated to “Grow Your Own” Everything for or from the Edible Garden from sheds to seeds to fruit gins! There was a really good mixture of exhibitors with many specialising in eating garden products including Botanical Chocolates but thankfully Jimmy’s Farm’s sausages was a long way from the pigs, goats and hens! And why no rabbits?
It is certainly a good time of year to hold this sort of show and I saw lots of people buying seeds, plants and sundries, carrying armloads to their cars. Most gardening shows tend to be at the end of the season, not at the start. The number of people visiting the show was incredible! I had to queue to get into the car park at 10am! Was it because Pippa Greenwood, James Wong, Bob Flowerdew or my humble self were there? No, it was because of the every growing trend in grow your own, this show was ideally placed.
I enjoyed the show with its huge mixture of ideas but some ideas were overpriced for what they were. No growing space in your patio? Just go up the wall for £600! Some ideas were just too obscure and do people have more money than sense?
As I said there was a good mixture of exhibitors and I liked that you could learn about every aspect of edible gardening from sowing to harvesting to cooking your harvest. One thing that was missing from the show was “Edible Flowers”
My top five things I saw were:
Hi Grow – Sproutapouch, growing seed sprouts in a bag on the window!
Bubble House Worm Farm – With its Herb Garden Wormery and Seat Wormery.
Tipsy Fruit Gins – A selection of gins made from every type of fruit grown in Britain. Only tried one!
Vitax – Vitax has produced a dual purpose label and insect trap. Just like the commercial growers.
Secret Seed Society – An illustrated storybook, seeds, growing instructions and a recipe so children can follow their food on a journey from plant to plate. The books tell the stories of the inhabitants of Seed City; an urban environment populated by vegetable beings! What a great idea!