Crookwell Show 2020 entries 'should be alright'

HIDDEN TREASURES: Local edible landscaper Daniel Hartwell checks on a marrow in Crookwell Community Garden that may be a contender at the 2020 Crookwell Show. Photo: Hannah Sparks

HIDDEN TREASURES: Local edible landscaper Daniel Hartwell checks on a marrow in Crookwell Community Garden that may be a contender at the 2020 Crookwell Show. Photo: Hannah Sparks

An optimistic Agricultural Pastoral and Horticultural (AP&H) Society president Paul Anderson said drought and fires shouldn't greatly impact entries at the 142nd annual Crookwell Show on February 8-9.

The show has never been cancelled and drought and that record wouldn't be broken in 2020, Mr Anderson said, despite at least 13 NSW agricultural shows pulling the pin lately.

Those included Kiama, Berry, Albion Park, Bowral, Cobargo, Eurobodalla, Braidwood, Bundarra, Bemboka, Lithgow, Tarago, Pambula and Candelo.

Sydney Royal Easter Show organisers fear these cancellations will impact entries to their 2020 event.

However, society president Mr Anderson saw that as an opportunity for Crookwell Show, which he said was "really lucky to go ahead".

"Anyone wanting to go to Sydney will want some points," Mr Anderson said.

"[Entry] numbers might be slightly down but knowing what repeat entrants have got, I think we should be alright."

Horse competitors can gain points at Crookwell Show to qualify for the 2021 Sydney Royal (horse entries have closed for 2020 Sydney Royal).

Mr Anderson anticipated people would travel to Crookwell Show from areas where shows have been cancelled, particularly axemen and women keen to take part in the Woodchop Competition.

Local edible landscaper Daniel Hartwell checks on a yellow squash in Crookwell Community Garden that may be a contender at the 2020 Crookwell Show. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Local edible landscaper Daniel Hartwell checks on a yellow squash in Crookwell Community Garden that may be a contender at the 2020 Crookwell Show. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Local edible landscaper, backyard farmer and Crookwell Community Garden committee member Daniel Hartwell won champion exhibitor in the produce section at the 2019 Crookwell Show.

He is hoping to enter vegetables from his home garden and the community garden at the upcoming show but said produce was behind where it was this time last year.

"Last year we had a bumper crop; I had about 17 entries. This year, I planted a little bit less than I normally would, to be able to look after what I had," Mr Hartwell said.

"Finding red tomatoes and big tomatoes in Crookwell in time for the show might be hard. The show is a bit early for summer veggies. Although, people from a bit further out should be okay; tomatoes would be fairly good in Bigga by now."

Hungry birds, the heat and water restrictions have also presented challenges for gardeners, Mr Hartwell said.

Cucurbits such as cucumbers, pumpkins, zucchinis and beans, however, will do well, he said.

With three weeks until the show, Mr Hartwell said things could still improve in the garden, especially if the recent cooler weather and rain continued.

"Things are doing it tougher this year, but we will have something," Mr Hartwell said.

Peter Banfield has stewarded Crookwell Show's vegetable competitions for many years and said it was hard to say at this stage whether entries would be okay.

"Like a lot of things, it all comes down to the weather. Last year was a fantastic year. We had a large amount of entries. But now I just don't know. One fellow told me he's got nothing growing," Mr Banfield said.

Mr Banfield had entered potatoes every year since 1980 but thinks he won't be able to this year. He also normally grows tomatoes but said they weren't growing very well either.

"We'll just have to wait and see," he said.

Crookwell Show's chief steward of cattle, Ken McCallum, said numbers "should be near to usual in the stud section and probably back a bit in the commercials due to the season."

"The fact other shows have been cancelled could help numbers in the horse sections but I don't think it will affect other sections much."

Certainly, 2020 Crookwell Show winners will have put in the hard yards in the past 12 months and will be worthy of appraisal.

Crookwell Show Pavilion opens on Friday, February 7 for all entries except for the Vegetables, Cut Flowers, Pot Plants and Floral Decorative competitions, which open on Saturday, February 8.

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