Page 56 - Simply Vegetables Winter 2020/21
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                                North East Derbyshire DA
 Well, it’s time for another D.A. report and I’m afraid it’s a bit more of the Deja-Vu syndrome for the third report running.
We are still in the grip of the Coronavirus and Government imposed restrictions
so no meetings, D.A. Show, events etc. have taken place since February. Life and planning for the future still goes on, so
D.A. Secretary Geoff Butterworth is busy trying to book guest speakers and organise events for next year. Unfortunately, there’s a chance some or all of Geoff’s hard work and planning may not come to fruition
due to the Government’s restriction but it’s important to say that all D.A. members are grateful for Geoff’s efforts regardless of the outcome and the long-term future prospects.
Onwards and upwards; D.A. member Ian Brown provided me with a run down from his year’s gardening escapade with his daughter which is reflected below. Our Lockdown challenge; I accepted a challenge from my daughter “Abbie” as to who could grow the longest runner bean during lockdown.
I obtained some seed from my good friend and mentor, Dave Goodwin and accepted the challenge. The gauntlet was well & truly thrown down and the seed sowing started in earnest at the beginning of May and planted out at the end of May. From that point it was watering/feeding and waiting for flowers and beans. As time went on, we thinned out the weakest and mis-shaped beans and left the
remaining strongest beans to grow on. Every 3 or 4 days we would both measure the few beans we’d left on our individual plants. Mid- August and I was starting to get a bit worried; Abbie’s longest bean was beating mine by 2cm (think it’s a dad thing not wanting to lose to your kids). By the beginning of September my worries had disappeared, we both a few lovely beans and I was leading with one at 30” (76cm) and Abbie’s was at 27”(68cm). During the 2nd week in September we went to check the beans only to find mine on the floor and chewed by vermin (I was absolutely gutted to put it mildly).
Abbie laughed and gave me a cuddle then said, “I think I’ve won dad”, as I held back the tears, I graciously accepted defeat I said “congratulations and we’ll done” to my lovable daughter. A special moment during difficult times and a very special moment
for father and daughter to share together and be able to look back on such special moments as they grow a little older.
CANNA were hosting several Giant Vegetable shows around the country
with very strict guide-lines to meet the Governments guidance. One of CANNA’s venues was at Mansfield which is a 20-minute drive away from us. It was planned to enter Abbie’s bean in the CANNA show at Mansfield if it stayed fresh.
Ian’s/Abbie’s bean measured in at 74.1cm and came in a credible 3rd behind first placed Joe Atherton (84cm) and 2nd Peter
Glazebrook (78.5cm). Overall, nationally when CANNA had completed all the shows Ian/Abbie came in at a very credible 4th place.
Pictured is a very proud and emotional father with daughter Abbie and the magical bean and Abbie alone with her beloved bean. Ian/Abbie, from all at NEDDA congratulations on your fantastic achievement.
Dare I say it again and not wanting to tempt fate; Fingers crossed I won’t be writing similar comments again regards lack of D.A. activity for the next edition of the S.V. magazine.
Mick Shipley
 Manchester and Cheshire DA
Not much has happened here in Manchester as we have been in lockdown for most of the year owing to high Covid numbers. Due to this we have been unable to have any meetings. A lot of our members do not have the facility to be able to join in with a zoom meeting, so we just have to hold tight and see what happens next. We are hoping to be able to get some sort of meeting together in the near future. If any of our members have any ideas on how they want to do this then please get in touch.
One thing that has come out of this
is that my allotment has been great and the produce that has come out of it really good. This is due to me not having anything else to do and nowhere else to
go. I would have been able to make a big contribution to the Tatton show stand this year. Other than the leeks and onions. They were growing fantastically well, the best I’ve managed, but then we were locked out of the greenhouse where I keep them as it is a council facility. By the time we were allowed back in to water we had lost a lot of plants. The leeks and the onions were still alive as they were in Autopots. Unfortunately as I wasn’t allowed in, the leeks didn’t get stripped down. The ladies that were able to go in and do the watering didn’t know what to do. I tried to direct them over the phone but I wasn’t hopeful. Once Tatton was cancelled I didn’t see
the point in trying to keep this up and asked the ladies just to keep them fed and
watered. By August and in a heatwave I was allowed back in. As soon as I walked in I saw that most of the leeks had gone to seed, were covered in Spidermite and had died. All my stock leeks for next year had also died which meant I didn’t have any seedlings. Thankfully I spotted a couple of the leeks with seed heads in the Autopots were still clinging to life. I washed them down and took two scraggy seed heads home and I managed to get around 50 very sad looking seedling which I planted in a heated propagator. To my surprise they mostly all took and I have around 40 leeks for next year which are now growing very well in the grow tents. Fingers crossed for Tatton next year.
Manchester Chair Sandra McNicholls
    Great crop of tomatoes My son with a carrot for his tea One week after saving from greenhouse Two weeks after saving
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