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The Autumn Food & Country Fair 2015 - Peterborough Arena

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heavy weights of the veg growing world prepare to do battle in Peterborough

 

WORLD record holders and giant veg growers from around the country will be weighing up the competition at one of the region’s best-loved horticultural contests this autumn.

Monster marrows, super-sized spuds and colossal cabbages will be among the giant vegetables of all shapes and sizes coming to the Autumn Food and Country Fair in Peterborough. Growers from all over the country will be showcasing their heavy weight produce at the event at the Peterborough Arena on Sunday October 11 – battling it out to be the longest, largest and heaviest.

 

 

 

 

Now in its seventh year, the East of England Giant Vegetable Competition is one of the many popular attractions at the Fair – with entries already flooding in from keen amateurs to an impressive Who’s Who of growers. Among them is Kevin Fortey from Wales, long-time supporter of and participant in the competition – who, along with this brother Gareth, began growing giant veg as a young boy. Their dad Mike was the first recognised giant vegetable grower in the country, and the craze has now reached fever pitch!

 

 

 

Kevin, who at last year’s Peterborough show was awarded the top accolade for heaviest marrow (72 kg); heaviest tomato (1,923 gms) and heaviest beetroot (15.8 kg), said: “Growing giant veg is hugely popular – and has really taken off in recent years, thanks mainly to information being more accessible via the Internet and TV shows putting the subject in front of millions of people.

 

 “It has gone from being something done by a small group of growers in almost a secret club, to a massively popular passion all over the world. Myself and some of the UK’s other top growers are looking forward to coming back to Peterborough for what we expect to be another tightly fought show – and perhaps gain or regain some more world records.”

 

And if it’s top tips you are looking for when attempting to super-size your own swedes or pump up your parsnips, Kevin and other experts - some of whom have exhibited at the East of England Giant Vegetable Competition – have plenty.  Many of the growers will also be around on the day to share some of their secrets, including Nottinghamshire’s Peter Glazebrook – a world record holder in many achievements including heaviest carrot 9.09kg heaviest cauliflower 27.48kg and largest potato 4.98kg – and South Wales grower Ian Neale, who holds the title of the world’s heaviest swede at 118.8lbs.


 

Did you know:

 

  • The World's Largest Swede – grown by Ian Neale and exhibited in Peterborough - along with a selection of other giant vegetables made their dream debut in 'Pudsey The Movie' in July 2014.

  • World-renowned rapper Snoop Dogg requested to meet Ian Neale backstage at his show in Cardiff.

  • Kevin Fortey’s Facebook Group has almost 1,500 members – including budding growers from Europe, Australia and around the world.

 

And for green-fingered growers who think they have got what it takes to impress the judges, there is still time to enter – with competition rules and schedule available from http://www.giantveg.co.uk/index.php/en

 In addition, there is plenty more to see and enjoy at the Autumn Food and Country Fair. Other attractions for 2015 include:

 

  • Return of the popular Wisbech Shire Horse Show

  • Companion Dog Show and other canine events

  • NEW Cookery theatre with demonstrations by master baker Paul Hollywood + indoor food and drink hall, including wine tasting.

  • NEW: Daring demonstrations from the exhilarating 3SIXTY bicycle stunt team

 

  • Donkey Rides

  • The Supreme London Championships Small Livestock Show, billed as the rabbit world’s equivalent of Crufts

  • Pigeon display

  • Dozens of trade stands and craft fair

  • Kids Country events for children – including pancake making

  • Classic car and vintage tractor displays.

  • Exhibitions of rare breed cattle, sheep, pigs and goats

     

    There is free parking and the event runs from 8am until 4pm. The East of England Showground is located just off the A1 at Alwalton near Peterborough.

     

    Visit the website for details or visit http://autumnfoodandcountryfair.co.uk/giant-vegetable-competition-2015 for the latest schedule