Page 53 - Simply Vegetables Winter 2020/21
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                                Northern Branch
MEMBERS 20000 TO 29999
   Chairman’s report
What a year we have had!!! The
allotment sites have harvested some great produce and Mine is still half full of winter vegetables with leeks, beetroot, carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts and swede still growing while I have plenty
of potatoes and onions in store to last throughout the winter. I am sure that the pleasure of gardening has helped with the mental and physical pressures that this pandemic has put upon a lot of people.
I have been lucky enough to have been able to continue working all year and still found time to attend the allotment. Holiday plans were not at the forefront of my mind as normal for me. I usually book my holiday dates around various shows which this year were cancelled. The Harrogate spring and Autumn flower shows plus the Great Yorkshire show were all called off due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
I have attended nine shows this year to Judge. The produce on show were of a very high standard and a pleasure to judge. Credit must go to all the organisers who battled through the rules and regulations to put on these events. Every show was held with full preparation to prevent the public from harm from the virus. As a judge I felt
safe knowing that so much thought had been placed on personal safety.
As the year is coming to an end for us all we need to look at the positive aspects of the year and try to build on these. The Northern branch has held its first Zoom meeting and will have had a second one by the time you receive this report. This was a success and was well attended with contributions from most members. It just shows we can adapt to change and learn new ways of communication without having to travel long distances to discuss issues and share our ideas.
A lot of members have kept up to
date on what has been happening with the use of Facebook. This is another
great method of communication if used correctly. Members are holding information sessions by video link to educate people on growing techniques. John Soulsby on Growing for Showing and John Peace
on Chrysanthemums are two excellent growers who have set up this service to Facebook friends.
You do get some entertaining posts along with some amazing photos of various produce. It makes me smile when I see photos of leeks well advanced in one or
even two litre pots in October with growers stating they are for shows next September. The comments that follow state fantastic or have you any spares. I wouldn’t entertain plants this size at that time of year unless I needed them for an event in June or July.
At work we are well into to growing
for the Christmas period with 6500 Poinsettias’ colouring up, 15000 hyacinths set away in a peat bed outside and thousands of Cyclamen growing in the glasshouses along with the primroses and other seedlings both perennial and annuals to supply growers all around the country. The last of the Autumn bedding has been sent out to the councils to plant up the flower beds for the winter months. The next month or two we spend on maintenance work servicing containers and power washing the whole of the glasshouses before the sowing season takes off again
in January
Finally, I hope before long we may be holding events again for members at DAs. I know the Committee members will do all they can to get a safe system working for you all as soon as it is possible to do so.
Adrian Read FNVS Chairman Northern Branch
East Yorkshire DA
At the time of writing, it has been nearly nine months since our last monthly meeting held in the comfort of our local Conservative Club. With ‘High’ risk Tier 2 lockdown rules now in force for East Yorkshire (and the probability of even stricter rules to come), the prospects for normal business resumption appear ever more remote.
In the last edition of Simply Vegetables, Sandra Hall, our Lady Chair, reported on the potential for holding Zoom meetings with Trustee members and regional NVS representatives. One of our local members has asked whether we can do the same and our DA is currently exploring whether we can overcome the obvious challenges and likely teething problems and apply this technology to suit our own requirements. For example, our AGM is scheduled for the end of January but the prospects for holding a normal public meeting, as in previous years, do not look encouraging.
Zoom software is available as a free download package but comes with associated usage limitations. I have started to use Zoom as
part of my ‘day job’ as a trainer and have invested in the annual
pro licence. I do not pretend to be an expert but I could potentially ‘host’ a Zoom meeting online without other NVS participants having to worry about the 40 minutes time gap for groups, or to fork out
for their own annual Zoom pro licence. All I would need is an email address for each intended participant which would enable me to send them the relevant joining instruction codes. GDPR rules would also need to be observed.
Similarly, I could also empower a speaker with ‘co-host’ status which would enable them to share their PowerPoint presentation to the rest of us remotely from their computer based anywhere with an internet connection. This might offer the possibility of conducting regular monthly meetings once again, but within a digital setting
rather than inside a physical room. Not ideal, of course, because you miss the close social interaction and practical engagement with others but safer and perhaps better than nothing in the short-term at least. Whether our local DA membership is willing and able to embrace Zoom as an alternative form of social communication, though, remains to be seen. If not, our existing Committee will be asked to continue unchanged and I fear that our AGM and other group activities will have to be postponed until circumstances allow.
By the time you read this, the New Year will have arrived. Let us hope 2021 will bring better times for us all. In the meantime, any relevant East Yorkshire news will be posted on our website http://
Paul Neve FNVS
‘Food for Thought’ seen in my local supermarket. Not a record-beater but large enough to attract attention and raise money for charity.
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