Schoolgirl triumphs over green-fingered grandads in vegetable show

GROWTH SPURT ... Molly Smith of West Boldon has stunned the North East vegetable-growing world with five wins at the annual Houghton Feast vegetable show.
GROWTH SPURT ... Molly Smith of West Boldon has stunned the North East vegetable-growing world with five wins at the annual Houghton Feast vegetable show.
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LITTLE Molly Smith certainly knows her onions – and her leeks.

The nine-year-old beat scores of grandads to win five out of 12 categories at a horticultural contest run as part of this year’s Houghton Feast, which ended at the weekend.

The youngster has been growing vegetables for the last four years.

And, despite entering the competition in previous years, this is the first time she has won any awards.

In this year’s show, Molly, of West Boldon, won awards for the heaviest onion, best collection of vegetables and amassing the most points in the vegetable section.

She also won the prize for the best blanch leeks and for getting the most points in the whole show.

Molly, who is deaf, was presented with five trophies for her effort.

Her mum, Jo Gibson, 37, said: “It’s great. She loves growing them.

“She is profoundly deaf, so everything she knows she does by sight.

“She learns from watching people around her. Molly is a bit of a grandad’s girl. She goes to help him in the garden about three times a week. This is the first year she has won anything, so she is over the moon to have won so many awards.

“She has gone to celebrate with her grandad.

“I’m really proud of her.”

Molly’s grandmother, Cathy Smith, 60, said: “Nothing fazes her. She just gets on with it.

“She goes swimming, plays football and does cheerleading. She’s very active.

“She has been gardening with her grandad since she was tiny. She has been going to Houghton Feast since she was a couple of weeks old.

“My husband idolises her. He has even bought her a boiler suit for the garden.”