Your Chairman John Bird fancies himself as a dab hand in the kitchen, but has always regarded the job of growing fruit and vegetables as a job for others. It was thus with some trepidation that he accepted the Pitshanger Allotment Conservation Association (PACA)’s invitation to serve as one of the judges at their annual show on 6th September. Fortunately the other judge was former PACA Chairman Brian Field, who knows his onions. Horticultural expert Chantelle Ludski was also on hand with the RHS rule book to ensure fair play. John said “I felt a little daunted at first sight of the serried ranks of fruit and veg, but with Brian and Chantelle’s help I soon got into the swing of judging the entries. Even to a complete non-expert it was obvious that a great deal of effort and enthusiasm had gone into growing produce of such a high standard. But the highlight for me was meeting a mangel-wurzel for the first time”. Now, back to the kitchen.