Thursday, 27 August 2009

Big Day Out

Mike and I had a 'day out' together today, our first in many months. Most of the young pheasants are out "to wood" (i.e. in sheltered pens) and settling in so they can be left longer without checking - long enough to go off the estate for half a day.

Today was the Melplash Show. You may remember my recent foray into village shows with my victoria sponge and loaf of bread? This is the next level. But still a real local farmers' show. And definitely an experience. I will take you through some of the high points

There is a class called 'Lambs for the Meat Trade' where the live sheep is exhibited in the ring on Tuesday, butchered on Wednesday, and shown as a carcase at the show Thursday (today). The main body is hung and a cross section of the ribs is also displayed. Caution - not for the squeamish or vegans among you:

Thankfully, all the other participants in the livestock classes had their skins still on. There were sheep:

Here's the judge (in tall leather boots) feeling along the backbone for the right amount of covering. Points off for a sheep that's too fat or too thin.

And our neighbors Bernie & Sadie in the ring with their rare breed Grey Faced Dartmoors (the back view!) which took ribbons in the class, but lost first prize to the bigger Costwold sheep

Some sheep were just striking to look at and the huge variety between the different breeds was surprising.

The owner of this ram told me his horns are more valuable than the whole beast. Walking stick makers prize this sheep horn to top their sticks.
There were pigs in the show ring ...
and goats waiting to go in the show ring...

And very tired calves at their first show...

There were also traditional farming categories such as 'Four stalks of Maize', 'Bag of this year's Hay', 'Best fleece - shown rolled'

And of course - the vegetable growers categories including our favorite 'The longest runner bean' which was won by our neighbor Mrs Busk! (of the sweet pea fame, in an earlier post). There was also the famous 'giant vegetable' categories. Check out these leeks and onions:

Our friend Joy Michaud did well with her tomatoes and vegetable tableaus. There was also terrier racing, tractors for sale, and lots of homemade cider and preserves to sample and take home. It is an English tradition that I hope carries on for a long time to come.

1 comment:

Poppy Cottage said...

Did you also find the Dorset Spinners? Now wish I had gone instead of sanding floors!! Still, Poppy Cottage Makeover is well under way!!

Take care.