The 76th National Fruit Show – being held at the Kent County Showground, Detling, near Maidstone on 21-22 October – is sold out. The trade stand space has had to be expanded into the Hendry building to accommodate new machinery exhibitors. Trade support has been as good as ever, with over 90 companies booking space including at least six new to the show.
The National Fruit Show has been organised by the Marden Fruit Show Society (MFSS) since 1933 and uniquely combines a fruit competition for commercial apple and pear growers with a two day trade exhibition. The display of the winning fruit entries always takes centre stage in the heart of the show. Visitors can see the results of the judges’ efforts to find the best presented fruit, the tastiest, the heaviest apples and pears and many more and meet the winners.
MFSS Chairman Jeremy Scott has been keen to expand the competition classes to include new apple varieties like Cameo, Rubens and Jazz – this year Kanzi has been added – and to extend the range of incidental fruits involved in the show. These include tomatoes, pumpkins, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and cobnuts and walnuts. The apple juice competition staged by permission of Agrichandlers (Emma Nash Ltd) has been going for 23 years.
Entries for all the competition categories are predicted to exceed last year’s 149 from 53 farm businesses. Entry to all competitions is free. The closing date for apple and pear entries is Wednesday 7 October. For apple juice, soft fruit and nuts the closing date is Friday 9 October. For the heaviest apples and pears it’s Wednesday 14 October and also for the tastiest tomato and the pumpkin class.