The Wanaka A&P Show has today announced an exciting new vegetable-growing competition ahead of next year’s highly anticipated Show. A community competition open to participants of all ages, Produce a Patch aims to inspire local families and individuals to get busy in their gardens over spring and summer and create a vegetable patch in any location in the Upper Clutha A&P catchment region (Wanaka, Lindis Saddle, Makarora, Crown Range, Victoria Bridge and Cromwell).
The vege beds will be judged by Harvest Homegrown founder Erin Allison, local gardening expert Liz Buggs and Ben Elms (aka Dr Compost) who will visit and evaluate each patch on March 1, 2021. Produce a Patch winners will be announced by celebrity gardener and judge Lynda Hallinan at the 84th Wanaka A&P Show on March 12-13, 2021.
Wanaka A&P Show event manager Jane Stalker says there has been a surge in interest in DIY vegetables in recent times and Produce a Patch hopes to further encourage this by offering prize incentives as well as education and advice from expert gardeners.
“Wanaka locals are a skilled bunch when it comes to gardening and it’s fantastic seeing this skill being passed on through younger generations,” she says. “Produce a Patch is an event that people of all ages can participate in and learn something from, and we are delighted to include this as a highlight of our Home Industry category at next year’s Wanaka A&P Show.”
There are two entry categories of Produce a Patch: Best Open Garden and Best Family Garden. Produce a Patch champions will win prizes to help take their gardens to the next level, from including two greenhouses and other gardening-related prizes.
To enter, participants must fill out the Produce a Patch entry form via the Wanaka Show’s website by 31 October, 2020. Details of garden dimensions and other terms and conditions are also available on the website.
As the major sponsor of the inaugural competition, Mitre 10 Wanaka will be hosting two Produce a Patch events this spring. The first is a Produce a Patch information session at Mitre 10 at 10am on Saturday, September 26 where entrants can learn more about the competition. The second Produce a Patch event is a free workshop at Mitre 10 Wanaka with local garden guru Dr Compost and experienced local gardener Liz Buggs to discuss tips and tricks for creating the perfect vege patch on Monday, November 30 (time TBC).
“Gardening and growing your own food is one of the most sustainable, satisfying and easily accessible activities one can partake in, not to mention the numerous social and mental health benefits it brings,” Stalker adds. “The aim of Produce a Patch is to help novice and experienced gardeners in our community create something from the land that they can be really proud of. With spring here, now is the ideal time to have some fun and get cracking on the garden.”