The Suitcase Lady


October 2, 2018, 8:45 pm

When it comes to veggies, I like mine small. Petite peas, slender asparagus, baby green beans and tiny pickling cucumbers (eaten unpickled). In my opinion, bigger is not better in the vegetable world.

So it was with a grin on his face, that my husband showed me some pictures taken at Britain’s Harrogate Autumn Flower Show. (That name is somewhat of a misnomer as acres of vegetables are displayed alongside the spectacular blooms.) Noted for being fervent gardeners, the British are also lovers of weird traditions. The giant vegetable competition at the Harrogate show certainly falls into that category.

Vegetables of monstrous proportions are judged on their length and weight. Categories include pumpkin, marrow (zucchini), parsnip, leek, cabbage, potato, beetroot, carrot, rhubarb, runner bean and cucumber. In addition, there is a separate and wildly popular National Heavy Onion Championship. Since it’s inception in 1983, the event has resulted in twelve new world records.

This year’s big winner in the giant vegetable competition was Ian Neale, a 75 year old pensioner from South Wales. He grew the heaviest carrot, beetroot and cabbage, a trifecta of giants.

Asked about his secret of success, he stated, “There really is no secret. It’s just about having the right seed and the right growing conditions and you have to put in plenty of time. You do need a bit of money-for compost and fertilizer- but that’s it.”

In researching this giant vegetable story, I noticed that one thing stood out….no women were among the contestants.I guess it’s just guys who are fixated on “the biggest”.

Here are the results of their labor.


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