We went to the Helensville A&P Show a couple of weeks back and this got hubby thinking.

at the Helensville Show

prize winning cow

Goat in van after Show

Years ago, we entered our homegrown produce into our local Kumeu A&P Show – including a rather special red onion which weighed in at approx 1.65kg (a lot). It won a First and Judges Choice beating all other entries. Nice!

Sadly the following year our 1.35kg onion got zip, so yours truly opted not to enter again – yes it appeared that I had the pip.

Anyway isn’t it nice to know that we can change? So on Friday we got up early, grabbed some veg from the garden, popped some fruit into a box and headed down to the show, paid our entry fees, filled out forms and had a laugh … ‘what were we doing?’

The A&P show is a massive event frequented by loads of people;  locals, city dwellers, those that pride themselves on their animal or bird husbandry and those like ourselves who either grow veg, fruit or flowers for their own use and don’t mind some recognition for their hard work. So naturally we woke up on Saturday and raced down to see what was what.

The guinea pig below got Reserve Champion and its owner was so proud. Handsome chap too.

award winning guinea pig

Given our love of chooks (mine particularly) it is only natural that we go and pay them a visit, there didn’t appear to be many this year but I couldn’t resist the bird below.

Leghorn rooster Kumeu Show

As you would expect there is food, entertainment, things to buy, and in no particular order …

Hot cross buns

Wood chopper

Sheep dog at the Show

Oak tree leaf

My garden is winding down now, it is starting to get that ‘jaded’ look and fair enough too, it has provided us with loads to eat as it always does. In fact, there is a monster pumpkin still growing that I am so proud of. Pics to come I promise!

I have sown seed last weekend which has since germinated and been pricked out into some interesting containers with worm castings, these should grow like mad. Let’s see.

Peas have been poked into the dirt, and spuds have been teased from the soil only a few mind you, this bed I suspect is loaded with potatoes, but I’m going to wait a bit longer before I haul them out.

Yes I have started pruning fruit trees, a thankless task and only about another 10 to go ..

rather large dog at the beach

Our ventures to our local beach have to be shared – I couldn’t resist the feather in the black sand, nor the massive pooch, who is a such a gentle giant.

feather in black sand

Muriwai beach black snad

Before I go, I did promise a pic of some lichen. It is growing happily on many of our trees in the orchard, our olives and pine trees and our outdoor furniture as shown below.

Lichen growing on chair outdoors

Are you still interested … Did we win anything? Of course we did!

winnings from the Kumeu Show

Happy gardening …

80 thoughts

  1. Dear Julie and Andrew, so loving the idea of a mega-onion here in London, where we have had our first glorious spring day and the Pinder boys won their last ever match for Barnes Eagles U18s and Watford beat Arsenal to progress to the FA Cup final semis. Lovely pics, but, as veteran guinea pig breeders, we are unimpressed by the piggy that won best in show! We’ve bred over 50 quality pigs and they were all real “lookers”. Sadly they have all gone to the great hutch in the sky but I miss them singing in the garden, hoping for a delicious vegetable snack. Lots of love, fiona xx
    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

    • Hi Fiona … so good to see you here. Nothing like a glorious spring day and being able to enjoy a couple of well deserved footy wins. Ah so you used to breed guinea pigs? This one was the Reserve .. so not the winner, who as it happens was white and not prepared to exit her cage. Gosh over 50 .. I’m so impressed. I bet they were real lookers too! Hugs your way Miss

  2. Congratulations for the prizes Julie. They are well deserved as we follow their grow in your blog ^^ A nice story with winnings and experiences. The pumpkin fills my imagination about the size and the onion has to been so massive! Thanks for a beautiful chronicle. : )

  3. Congratulations – Well done, you! Great photos. I love the smiling pup! He looks like he has secrets to share. And I bet those fruit trees really will thank you …. In the spring.

    • Hey Janet … thank you! He is a smiling pooch. A sheep dog that had been relocated to the van. I bet he had lots of share … Oh those trees sure will thank me 🙂 In fact, I’m thinking that I just might shut the office door and go and give another one a haircut!

  4. Yeah! And here I was reading down to the bottom of the post going, “but, but, did you win?” And hooray! You did win! I’m so happy for you…omg. I took a chance one time and entered a painted map in our village vegetable and fruit fair (OK it has arts and crafts in it too), and the nicest part was listening to people chat about my art! Oh, and, Chloe peeked over just now and saw that happy puppy in the car window followed by happy puppy on the beach and juts casually said, “mom? What if we just happened to have to save a dog in Japan and then just happened to have to live with him for the year…we couldn’t just leave him there, could we?” (groan) Well, I suppose not! 😀

  5. Ha ha … yes we did. And it was so nice walking in and seeing the cards. Made me smile alright! LOL Now V, if you were to enter your art into these events, you would absolutely ‘clean up’! No one would get a look in … Then I could dream about buying one of your paintings! Oh I wish … Sounds a wee bit like you might end up getting a Japanese dog! Always lovely to see you here … xx

  6. Damn it Julie! You can’t keep us hanging showing pictures of hamsters and hot cross buns! (as nice as they are). Congratulations for your wins at the farmers market. Was there a category for jams and pickles? You could have entered Bill’s creations and taken home all the ribbons! 😏 Take care. Bob

  7. Hi Julie and Andrew, Julie you really should enter the photo section. I’m sure you would clean up quite a few awards, with your stunning talent. Any way congratulations on your awards the amount of love and work you both put in to Frogpond you deserve them. Did the paper bags help at all? Pruning the fruit trees does that mean an even bigger crop! Once the new trees are in fruit you will have to get pickers in! Have started to sort out the garden yesterday, bit difficult though they are having an extension next door so in a bit of disray. Keep watching the pumpkin look forward to seeing it in next blog. Lots love to you both Bill xxx

    • Hey Mr B .. nice to hear from you. Hope that neck is ok? No way am I going to enter that photo section .. although I do so appreciate your comments. Couldn’t stand the thought .. oh imagine not winning even a highly anything! LOL … Thanks for the congrats, we do put in a bit of work don’t we? The paper bags – I think they were a deterrent, but they needed to be removed at some stage ( 😉 ) . Yes potentially the pruning should increase the yield – but guaranteed it will make those suckers easier to pick. I don’t even want to think about those new fruit trees .. imagine how many quince and figs there will be? Your garden must be hankering for some TLC 😀 That pumpkin, you just wait. It is a show stopper! LOL Hugs

    • Hi Helen … thank you! 🙂 Oh dear would you believe that we have 26 in one orchard and have just planted another strip of land with about 22. I feel unwell .. imagine when they all start producing. Have to blame the husband!

  8. Hi Julie, my first comment on a blog but Bill has been sending them to me since he last came to visit you and I felt I had to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading all your updates and looking at the wonderful pictures. Many thanks and love to you and Andrew. Sheila Hertfordshire, England xx

    • Hello Sheila … I know it is your first time and lovely to hear from you. I’m so pleased that you have been enjoying the blog posts. I love being able to share our place … Have fallen in love with my camera! Lots of love back at you and Peter 😀

  9. Sounds like a fun day at the fair! Your photos are beautiful, and I am enjoying following your posts and all that goes on at your farm.

    We have an old lichen-covered orchard as well. During our winter rainy season they swell, festooning the trees in green-grey.

  10. More hypnotically beautiful shots Miss Julie. The wood chopping man is a treat, with chips flying, as is that cute dog’s head poking out from a car window. Still, my fave is the beach- how much do I love that beach! Congrats on taking out so many prizes at the show. Aren’t agricultural shows a treat!

    • Gosh I couldn’t believe after all these years that we were entering the show again. Such fun ha ha … I love the wood chopping bloke too, and that pooch with the head poking out the window was a treat. I know you love that beach. Hopefully you will get to walk on it one day and wonder at the black sand on your toes when you leave! 😀 Hugs

  11. Congratulations on your awards! Enjoyed your photos of the show, that is one handsome Guinea pig! The “massive” pooch is gorgeous, and a great description. I wonder if under all that fluff is a tiny dog!

    • Hi Patti … well thank you! 🙂 Great that you enjoyed the pics of the show. I reckon he was a handsome guinea pig too. I have no idea of the size of that dog, but he seriously is massive! Thanks for stopping by

  12. Of course you won! Congratulations! And so many! Lovely pictures. Beautiful post .
    But can’t get the picture of the second prize chook out of my head. Thanks for sharing the fun you had Julie <3

  13. Wow Wow Wow!!! YOU WON!!! Good thing hubby was thinking …. If he had not you would not have won! YAY! As for your pictures, Oh, Julie, every one is so special, so cool, so YOU! You deserve a well earned rest and I hope you do that soon. I cannot even begin to imagine the work you and your husband have done, and will continue to do. You are an inspiration and I really HOPE you get more help next year. Love to you! Amy <3

    • Hello Miss … yes we did win. I was so surprised. Lots of fun too, thanks to hubby. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the pics Amy .. that means a great deal. So sorry for not replying sooner .. Thank you for saying I’m an inspiration 😀

  14. I should come and congratulate you days ago! How can I be this late…
    harvest season is a busy time for you. 🙂 I love this post!

  15. Well done , you, those prizes looked well-deserved! As your garden winds down, we’re planning and plotting and itching to dig in the dirt 🙂 Cheers, Ben

  16. Great shot of the wood-chipper!! And that black sand — looks so cool. 🙂 I always find it interesting how seasons are the inverse of each other’s. We’re starting spring and your growing season is, it seems, winding down. I guess that happens when one lives on the opposite sides of the world!

    Oh. And congratulations on your wins!

    • Hey Julie .. Yes I find it strange too .. Especially when those in the northern hemisphere are getting excited about daffs and veg plantings. Glad you like the pics Miss, so good to see you here 😃

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