Agricultural shows and 3 preserve recipes you may like to exhibit!

Agricultural Show

An agricultural show is a great day out whether you are a country or city dweller.

These celebrations of the countryside offer a great mix of agriculture competitions, craft, food and drink, shopping and entertainment.

After two-years of cancellations due to the pandemic, it is hoped that we all can get back to enjoying country shows in 2022.

The events have competitions, with prizes awarded by judges, allowing farmers and breeders to show off their animals and crops. Members of the public can also compete in a variety of competition categories including food and drink, crafts, horticulture and children’s activities. Often, there are events such as show jumping, sheepdog trials, falconry, transport displays and military displays. There may also be arts and crafts displays, live music and funfairs, maybe even a welly-wanging or flat-cap tossing competition. The giant and odd-shaped vegetable categories are always a favourite too. Definitely a full fun-filled day out for all!

Highland Cow on Show

A History of Country Shows

The first country shows took place in the mid-eighteenth century. They were gatherings for rural folk to get together, compare the products of their hard work and to share expertise and ideas. For years, these gatherings took place in different locations, until permanent show-grounds were purchased in the 1960s by agricultural societies.

The first purpose-built show-ground was in Harrogate, where the Great Yorkshire Show is held. This show is claimed to be the largest three-day agricultural show in England. However, within the UK it is surpassed by both the Royal Welsh Show and the Royal Highland Show.

Today, many of the larger counties hold their own shows and some have Royal status. Other counties have grouped together and created such shows as The Three Counties show or the Royal Bath and West Show for example.

Sheep on show

Fun for all – Why not enter yourself?

There are, of course, country shows on a much smaller scale all around the UK where everyone, even the amateur gardener, cook or artist can show off their wares and compete if they wish – just for fun!

In the past, my family have enjoyed entering our favourite preserves, biscuits, cakes and liqueurs into the small village show near to my in-laws in Yorkshire. We say that it is just for fun (but some take it more seriously than others!) One of my proudest achievements was getting a certificate and prize for Lemon Curd and my son (aged 3 at the time) and husband won the “Dads and Lads or Lasses Chocolate Cake” – I think we came away with about £2.50 prize money that year!
Be careful though, if you choose to enter, make sure you read the rules. There was a very disappointing year where my lemon cake was disqualified as it had icing on – I should have read the small print!

Country show

If you feel like getting involved and entering into the country show spirit this year, here are three preserve recipes you might like to try? We would love to know if you are victorious with any of them – fingers crossed!


Gooseberry & Ginger Jam

A little bit out of the ordinary – this jam could stand out in a crowd!

Gooseberry & Ginger Jam
Quick Fresh Strawberry Conserve

Strawberry Conserve

A country show classic!

Whisky Marmalade

Whisky Marmalade

The addition of whisky may just give this marmalade the winning edge!

For more (hopefully) prize winning recipes – take a look at our recipe archive.

Just type what you are looking for into the search bar or take a look at our recipe collections for inspiration!


I look after communications and marketing at Dairy Diary. I’m a busy mum and love home baking and cooking for my family. In my spare time I enjoy visiting the theatre, eating out with friends and exploring the great outdoors!

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