Page 11 - Simply Vegetables Winter 2020/21
P. 11

                                 The schools mini wheelbarrow competitions
I have been involved with the West Show Association in Jersey for over a decade and was fortunate enough to be elected on to the committee during the years when the West Show was probably one of the biggest outdoor events in Jersey which drew thousands of people.
My task at the time was to set up a horticultural section to enhance this great rural event, and with a background in horticulture I suggested that we set up a schools mini wheelbarrow vegetables and herbs competition for secondary and primary schools, under two separate sections with exactly the same criteria.
I was already working with the horticultural section of the States of Jersey prison service so I proposed that we ask them to make 30 identical mini wheelbarrows which would
be painted green and would give us a level playing field for this exciting new venture
I was fortunate in having the help of Lesley Curgenven who was the show secretary who took over the administration as well
as giving guidance to when the competition should take place, preferably at the end of the school term, and of course the criteria
of the competition had to be set out in the fairest possible way.
As I am a qualified NVS judge, I proposed that the entries should be based on the
total quality of the vegetables and herbs, but at the same time giving the schools the opportunity to enhance their barrows with fruit, flowers and small gardening utensils which would come under the
criteria of presentation.
Our very first schools
mini wheelbarrow vegetable competition took place at the West Show on the 10th and 11th of July 2010 and was sponsored by the Channel Islands Cooperative Society Ltd, who also covered the cost of the barrows.
Our very grateful thanks to the Channel Islands Cooperative Society Ltd for their very generous prize money which is given to the schools towards an environmental or
   Our very grateful thanks to the Channel Islands Cooperative Society Ltd
sustainable project.
We were very fortunate last
year to have Nora Treanor ex entomologist of the States
of Jersey and Gareth Griffin the well know giant onion exhibitor from Guernsey and his wife Wendy to judge the exhibits.
This year’s competition 2020 was organised by the Jersey association of
 Little has changed to day
except that the secondary schools due to excessive work load no longer enter the competitions.
I am pleased to say that the primary schools are still badgering away, so a
big thank you to our teachers, assistant teachers and parents who make the time to teach our young green fingered gardeners the importance of growing their own food, especially including its nutritional values.
Sadly the West Shows no longer takes place. We were very grateful last year 2019 to be invited by the St Ouens Manor fete committee to showcase the school barrows at their event, which was held on Saturday the 6th of July which saw our 9th school mini wheel barrow competition.
This was organised jointly by the Jersey Association of the N VS and the West Show Association, and sponsored again by the Channel Islands Cooperative Society Ltd.
With 12 barrows taking part. This was a real show stopper to the hundreds of people who visited the show with the following schools winning.
1st St Michaels School............... £1000 2nd Grouville School....................... £600 3rd St Johns School ...................... £400
(their very first attempt)
the National Vegetable Society with the help of Lesley Curgenven and set up at Holme Grown, but unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
I would like to add that since the conception of this very worthwhile event
we have over the years, been fortunate
in knowing and working with all the chief executive officers of the Channel Islands Cooperative Society Ltd and thank them one and all, Mr Jim Hopley, Mr Colin Macleod, and Mr Mark Cox for their valued support.
Thank you also to the States of Jersey prison service who donated herbs and vegetable plants to the schools who entered the competition.
A big thank you to our judges Nora Treanor Jersey and Gareth and Wendy Griffin Guernsey who had the most difficult task in judging these outstanding exhibits.
Also a big thank you to our feature writer Collette Bisson who over the years has written many articles which have featured Jersey in our quarterly National Vegetable society magazine.
And last but not least a huge thank you to Lesley Curgenven who without her help and support would have made my task virtually impossible.
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