Giant vegetables are back on the menu

Surrounded by giant cabbage leaves
Surrounded by giant cabbage leaves

GIANT vegetables and master gardeners will be added to the bill at this years Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, to mark the 100th anniversary of the North of England Horticultural Society (NEHS), the charity which runs the show.

Super-sized produce has long been a closely guarded secret of the gardening world, with gardeners trying many weird and wonderful things to recreate the best efforts of the green-fingered few in the know.

But visitors to this year’s show are being offered a glimpse into the methods for cultivating these oversized veg.

Peter Glazebrook, a regular champion at the flower show and member of the European Giant Vegetable Growers’ Association, welcomed the new classes for giant varieties.

He said: “Traditionally giant vegetable growing has had a reputation for being shrouded in secrecy, but people are becoming more willing to share their experience and even their plant seed.

“I would encourage anyone who is interested to just have a go and try it. They can also come along to the show to meet the growers to find out more about what’s involved.”

This year promises to bring not just the biggest, but the best to the show, as organisers attempt to find the NEHS Master Gardener for 2011, seeking to promote all round horticultural excellence in growing flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables.

Show director Martin Fish said: “The NEHS has been showcasing the very best in horticulture for 100 years. We continually look for new exhibits to inspire our visitors and new ways to promote horticulture across the UK.

“The master class will give gardeners the opportunity to demonstrate their skill across a broader range of plants and produce, rather than specialising in just one or two, while the giant vegetables should literally add a spectacular new dimension to the harvest celebration for our visitors to enjoy.”

In addition the show will feature tips and advice on growing standard-sized fruit and veg from the kitchen garden live team as well as cooking demonstrations in the theatre.

The closing date for entries into the fruit and vegetable classes at the show is September 10.

For more details, visit the show website at www.flowershow.org.uk or call 01423 546158.