THE countdown is on to the Mottram Show . . . and this year local MP Jonathan Reynolds is looking forward to the big day more than ever.
The agricultural show - which is held twice a year - is a draw for farmers and livestock owners from across the region.
But it is also a valued opportunity for green-fingered residents from Tameside and beyond to showcase the best of their fruit, vegetables and flowers.
And this year Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds is preparing to put some of his own produce up to public scrutiny.
Jonathan started to grow vegetables in the back garden of his Stalybridge home just a few months ago.
He says that being in the garden after a week in Westminster is really relaxing and a reminder of the happy times he spent helping his granddad when he was a small boy.
This year he has been growing a range of vegetables, including sweetcorn, peas, parsnips, peppers and cucumbers.
But it will be a small number of his potatoes and runner beans that he will be taking along to Mottram Show, on August 21.
And while the novice gardener doesn't expect to wow the judges, he says that just being able to submit an entry to the Show will be a real achievement.
He said: "I have always wanted to grow my own vegetables - so when we moved house and there was a vegetable patch already in the back garden it was perfect.
"I really enjoy being in the garden. There's a real pleasure is seeing things grow. I used to help my granddad in his garden when I was a boy. I remember there were always unlimited strawberries - and they were fantastic.
"This year I've put in some runner beans, sweetcorn, peas, parsnips and a few varieties of potatoes. And they have done very well, particularly the runner beans that have been very successful.
"I have been going to Mottram Show every August for years. Every time I go and have a look in the horticulture tent and I've always liked the idea of having something in there. So this year I decided to have a go.
"But for me it really is just about the taking part and not the winning - for me being able to enter anything is a real achievement. Mottram Show is a brilliant event. And I'll just be so proud to see my vegetables there."
Mottram Show will be held on the Old Hall Showground, Mottram, on August 21.
Published 12 August, 2011