Well, here we are on the last day of the Vegie Growing Challenge. We have gardened alongside each other for the last 97 days and it has been a joy and a pleasure. Every year we reach this point as a bit of a surprise, it feels like only yesterday we were sowing seeds and tending soil in freezing conditions. But at the same time, it feels like an eternity – in a good way. I feel like we have been friends forever, when in reality we only get a small snapshot of things in your world and for some it is only for a season and for some is a reacquaintance each spring and for some … well… we never really leave and that is such a wonderful thing about this community.
If you’re here for the challenge or here for the community, it is the most welcoming place on the internet. I really love how you all come around and greet new people like old friends, are generous with the love and support when things don’t go well and celebrate with genuine enthusiasm the wins and successes of others. This is such a special part of my world, and I would be lost without it.
In this safe space I can bemoan the fact I have no cucumbers yet and my Lebanese cucumber just turned up its toes and is clinging to the trellis all wilty without so much as a bloom! I get a little bit envious of everyone else’s cucumbers but at the same time I'm so happy for you all. For me there will be cucumbers eventually and a trip to the garden centre for a quick replacement and all the other temptations to delight in – it is Christmas after all – surely I can treat myself?!
But cucumbers aside, let me remind you what happens next. Officially the challenge closes at midnight tonight. Not that there will be anyone there to check – I’ve been falling asleep in front of the telly lately! Then the numbers will get crunched, and your entire season will be reviewed and judged fairly on things like effort, merit, friendliness and contribution to the community and the fact you have a garden and have been in it during the spring and told us about it, among other things. We aren’t looking for ‘the best gardener’ with ‘the best garden’ because at the end of the day we’re all on a different gardening journey and it would be like comparing apples and pears.
We won’t leaving you waiting too long – as soon as we know who the winners are, well let you know. Winners will be contacted directly from the team at Yates and then I’ll post an update here on my blog and update the main page and the previous winners’ page.
I do encourage you to stick around – lets get together for Christmas or in the days after to share what we had on the festive table from the garden and tell us about any cool gardening gifts you got. I know I won’t have peas – the jolly things have only just popped up on attempt #6! But I always squeeze in a bit of gardening on the big day – because the spuds need to be super fresh!
And if you need any gardening advice we will always be here keeping an eye on things, so questions won’t go unanswered.
I’ll say it now and will probably say it again - Thank you all for making this the fabulous community it is. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope as you go about your festive preparations, things go smoothly and leaves you plenty of time to potter about in your gardens.
Sarah the Gardener : o)