Page 59 - Simply Vegetables Winter 2020/21
P. 59

                                Midland Branch
   MEMBERS 10000 TO 19999
Bucks DA Report
Writing a report for the Bucks DA in the middle of this pandemic is proving to be very difficult but what can one say when all the shows and talks have been cancelled.
I was pleased to see pictures of the recent show held near Bicester organised by Canna Products with a few classes of quality vegetables and classes for heaviest and longest vegetables. Local grower Andrew Grimmett displayed some amazing long carrots, parsnips and leeks which were judged by our President Medwyn Williams and John Bebbington, a respected NVS judge. It was very nice to see this initiative which, although not open to the public and with scrupulous adherence to Covid rules, took place at Piddington Nurseries.
October has been an exceptionally wet month, the local television telling us that the October rainfall was twice the normal and
as a result numerous fields went underwater which is unusual for this time of the year. Looking forward to next Season, we all hope that things will return to normal but what the new normal will be is anyone’s guess.
I am very fortunate that local growers Neil and Jake have been coming round to help and we have now got four hundred leek pips on the go along with two hundred and fifty Toughball onions. Next week with the greenhouse staging erected I will start, after thorough disinfecting, with planting
up pickling shallots in three inch pots using
John Innes No. 2 and in early December culinary shallots into one litre pots with a mixture including leaf mould which will be roughly equivalent to John Innes No. 3 but with the extra leaf mould and horticultural grit which should get them off to a good start.
I would like to thank all the members
of the Bucks DA for their support of the NVS during this difficult year and who will hopefully celebrate Christmas and the New Year with the expectation of better things to come.
John Branham, Chairman
    Chairman’s Report – Midland Branch
Like many of you, I grew an abundance of vegetables for the 2020 show season which I could not use due to Covid-19. All shows cancelled; my village monthly newsletter was delivered with an advert on the front for the Quainton Gardening Society stating that it would be holding a village show with a difference - just 11 classes. It was to be held on the village green just below the windmill. Pat Lawrence and I decided to ask the chairperson of the society if it would
be possible to set up a collection of
6 vegetables to show the village that one can grow quality vegetables to this standard. Sue the chairperson readily agreed to this idea.
We thought it would help to advertise
the NVS and encourage new members. Pat and I spent all Friday morning preparing leeks, celery, carrots and parsnips etc. before the set up on Saturday morning. The show and our stand were
a great success. Two of us even held a competition of 3 vegetables judged by Allan Carter, another NVS judge who lives in the village of Quainton. I would like to thank Pat and Jim (Styles) for their help in setting up the stand and Allan for judging the competition and exhibits.
Planning for the next year starts in October with the leek grass which has
to be rooted and in late December I sow over 500 large onion seed for the Quainton Heavy Onion Competition which will be celebrating 40 years in 2021. For an entry fee of £7 (you have to live in the parish of Quainton to enter) you receive 15 plants to grow on and in September, on `lifting day`, we go round to the gardens/allotments where we weigh the largest onions. Most years we have around 25 entrants. This year due to Covid-19 we could not go around so we asked entrants to pull their heaviest onion and let us know the weight. We asked 8 entrants with the heaviest
onions to leave them on our doorstep labelled so the weights could be verified. I know Quainton is the centre of everything but to grow a heavy onion in a hanging basket and get 2nd with a weight of 5lbs. 10ozs was new. They say it is something to do with the gravity here in Quainton.
Keep safe and plan for the future show season.
Bob Bleasdale
 Simply Vegetables 59

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