Skip to comments.Gardener told not to enter village show for 'being too good'
Posted on 02/14/2011 1:05:03 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
It is the ultimate accolade for a keen vegetable grower a 73-year-old has been told not enter his village gardening competition because he is too good.
David Stirzaker has been asked by the organisers of the North Cadbury and District Horticultural Society, in Somerset, not to exhibit his produce at its annual show, because his impressive record at the event is discouraging others from taking part.
Mr Stirzaker who has won 12 cups at the show in just four years, for his prize-winning carrots, parsnips and tomatoes has pledged to take the matter to the Royal Horticultural Society.
"This is my hobby and I have been supporting their show for four years. I find the request very insulting it is a competition so I would have thought it is down to other growers to try harder if they want to beat me," he said.
"I want nothing more to do with the society. I won't be showing there again and I have told them that they can come and collect their trophies."
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
[excerpt] .......David Stirzaker, 73, has won 12 trophies with his produce in just four years, and now the North Cadbury & District Horticultural Society has taken the view that his skill is somehow unfair on those who cant yet coax their soil to yield such paragons of parsnips and titans among tomatoes. It smacks of a New Labour ethos of prizes for all, whereby excellence is seen as an affront to equality, rather than a challenge to aim higher.
Imagine if this philosophy applied in all competitive fields: Accrington Stanley are the new FA Cup holders or they would be, if they hadnt already won the Premier League. Or how about: And therefore Marcus Bungay is duly elected, because he wasnt last time. [end excerpt]
North Cadbury and District Horticultural Society's letter to Mr Stirzaker followed discussions at committee meetings in September and October. Members felt that his domination of the show over recent years was contributing to declining numbers of entries.
A spokeswoman for the society said she could not comment until after its latest meeting which was scheduled for Wednesday night..............." Somerset News
Good thing it doesn’t.
Talk about green with envy!
If this guy is monopolizing the trophies, then they should have second and third place winners. That would encourage people to try to beat his green thumb without denying him his own recognition.
Jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belongs to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbour to have them through envy. ~Aristotle
Annual Show 2010 Trophey Winners from left to right.
David Sturzaker - Gordon Attwell Challenge Trophy for most points in show and Rose Shield for fruit and vegetable classes.
Theresa Hallett - Runner-up Shield for second highest points in show and Runner-up Shield in fruit and vegetable classes and Phillips Challenge Shield for best single exhibit in the flower classes and Award for most entries in show.
Jean Atwell - Francis Blackwood Trophy for floral arrangement classes.
Shirley Gear-Evans - Flower Trophy for the flower classes.
Janet Body - The Presidents Trophy for most points in the domestic science classes.
Leni van Klaveren - Floral Plate for best single exhibit in the floral arrangement classes.
Remember the Pickle Story on “The Andy Griffith Show?”
Clara holds the honor of winning the blue ribbon for the best pickles at the Mayberry county fair 12 years running and also wins first place in the Mayberry flower show.
But because Andy and Barney can’t eat all of Aunt Bea’s “kerosene” pickles, they refill her canning jars with store bought pickles and that sets up the story line of “best in show” pickles at the Mayberry Show.
Clara Edwards’ to Andy when he tastes her pickles and realizes how good they are:
Clara explained that when her husband was alive, he had loved her pickles. She then asked Andy if he had ever seen her scrapbook. She took it out and showed him her blue ribbons for each of the 11 years she had won the pickle contest at the fair, and said, Whenever I get discouraged or lonely, I take out my book and look at my ribbons. I dont know how to explain it, but its a great comfort to know that theres something I can do. You must think Im just putting on airs, but I do try to make my pickles better every year. It means so much to me.
(So Andy and Barney have to eat up ALL the store bought pickles Bea believes are hers so that she’ll make another batch of “kerosene” pickles that will be her entry in the fair.)
If I’m a very good 73 year old gardener I would be more laid back about it all and withdraw from competition for three years. Let others win the prizes and become a judge perhaps. After three years go at it again. I don’t get the compulsion to be so competitive when you are in retirement
OK.... how do they get called kerosene pickles?
Kids these days,got no gumption
Maybe by pickling them so badly they taste like kerosene.
Aristotle gets a B minus, mainly for effort. It took Christianized society to understand (and promptly forget) that envy/jealousy are two sides of the same anti-God coin.
Exactly! Aunt Bea did not do well canning pickles.
Even a fly “died” for those who remember that episode.
You are correct. Her pickles were so bad the judges said they tasted like they were dipped in kerosene. Here I thought kerosene pickles was just a type of legitimate pickle
Now I get it.
At 73 he’s probably staying fit through his gardening and appreciating the extra time he’s earned in his retirement - and doing something productive.
Why should he (he’s offered to share his knowledge with anyone who wants to learn) step back so someone with lesser skill can get a silver bowl or a plaque to hang on their wall?
I say, “Keep up the great example David Stirzaker! You are an inspiration to us all! Bravo! Job well done!”
Too many students’ parents slap that old “My Child is an Honor Student” sticker on their cars. It’s how teachers’ unions make parents believe their kids are brilliant and that public schools are teaching.
The proof is in the pudding.
Apparently Mr. Stirzaker’s gardening skill is evident when the fruit of his labors are displayed.
I can only speak for myself and that would not be my attitude at age 73. I do some gardening and have quite a few fruit trees growing.......And I do not view fruit&veg judging contests that way at my younger than 73 age. He is making a big deal about what should be a friendly competition
He is correct.
What you suggest would be the gracious thing to do but some people are just very driven and competitive.
He sounds like he might be a bit of a crank but whatever. People like him are a reality in life and I don’t think that forcing him to sit out the competitions are a good idea.
Maybe the guy is a jerk and telling him his vegetables are just too good is a way to get him to go away.
That’s a good movie.
Socialists: Punishing excellence since...forever.
I’m not sure what’s worse... the idea that this is all the UK has to work on (despite creeping socialism and the muzzies), or the fact that the whole PC entitlement BS has infiltrated local gardening shows.
Either way, the UK is lost, it seems.
I did some stock photography for a landscaping sales company among many many other people. It worked out well for a couple of months. The guy wrote me one day that others were complaining that I did too well and possibly stealing content from elsewhere. I didn’t do much except using auto mode and a 70-200 Canon lens plus the odd PS bump or minor tweak. He thought I did very good.
It will be if we give up.
Only one man still participating? Womens’ lib going on here.
There must have been a time when there were other guys growing veggies........perhaps they have all gone to the big briar patch in the sky.
I don’t know how they’re judging but it seems it would be simple enough to have different levels of competition, ie beginners, experienced, advanced and masters.
Who would want to be judged “best” if they knew they were only awarded that title because the BEST stepped aside?
The lady to his right would “benefit” but the idea of competition and excellence would lose.
In this world of PC - you make too much sense;)
Hard to believe this is the country that devised Red, White and Blue Ribbon - Dog & Pony Shows.
The country that survived the Blitz.
Keep in mind that Aristotle is talking about two Greek words that may be more distinct in his context than the English words "envy" and "jealousy".
There is indeed a difference between seeing somebody with something nice and deciding "I'm going to have one of those too" versus "If I can't have one, then he should also be deprived of it".
Much of human progress probably came from people who were driven and competitive. I don't think Edison, Carnegie and Ford were party animals.
Give him a big Master Gardener Emeritus award or some such, and make him a judge for the competition going forward.
I dont get the compulsion to be so competitive when you are in retirement
Retiring does not knock out one’s competitive spirit. Whatever I do, I want to do my very best. I have not the least bit of interest in working in my former field, but I go at my current activities with as much energy as I had put into my professional work.
That certainly sounds like a reasonable offer.
But if he truly likes the competition, I don’t see
why he should be excluded because he’s good at it.
Yet Envy is the only one that made it to Deadly Sin status. Jealousy is a natural emotion. Envy is evil.
Hay I’ve got an idea.
Why not just give the prize to the mediocre to begin with, then he can enter and have no chance of winning?
Strive to be mediocre, that’s the way to do it.
Perhaps the NCAA should follow suit and ban the UConn Women’s Basketball team from the NCAA Tournament.
My thoughts exactly. Offer him a position of honor, and maybe a special spot for him to exhibit.
Maybe they could just give prizes out, say, like they do the Nobel Peace Prize (for things they might do, or hope to do, or wish to do, or what the people would have them do but that they can’t, won’t or can’t be bothered REALLY doing — just to be fair).
I just can’t see jealousy as near enough to envy to be on the same coin. They share neither motive nor result, unless result is measured in relative terms. Envy is what Zero’s Communist followers feel when they support his want to punish the producers. It is Communism... trickle up poverty. Jealousy is what I feel when I work an extra shift to afford that thing that Mr. Jones has sitting in his driveway. Jealousy never strays from the bounds of human freedom. It may not be the holiest of motivations, but it gets the job done as a way for us to see “examples” of what we would like to have. Yes, it’s certainly not holy, but neither is it a deadly sin.
How about... jealousy is a worn and shiny coin, while envy is an old beat up piece of paper money, which had been used for something unnatural? :)
Ridiculous. If their shows are anything like American gardening shows, everybody goes home with plenty of ribbons. I used to show daffodils, and they give ribbons for form, size, color, anything you can think of, in every possible category. My daffodils were never particularly stunning or rare, yet I have a whole box full of assorted ribbons in every color. Yeah, the Real Winner gets an actual trophy, but it’s damn near impossible to go home empty-handed. These runners-up are Sore Losers and lazy to boot.
Looking at that picture, there may be an even worse angle to this: Sturzaker was the only male to win last year, and maybe the ladies who run the horticultural society wanted to keep the contest female-only.