Page 62 - Simply Vegetables Winter 2020/21
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                                Southern Branch Chairman’s Report
  As yet another year draws to a close
and we enter into 2021, who could have predicted this time last year the upheaval that was going to be caused in 2020 by the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic and the absolutely devastating effect that it would have on the lives of the whole country,
not to mention the high number of deaths caused by Covid and the sufferings of
their families and friends. As I write this at the end of October 2020 it is not looking particularly good for 2021, or at least for the first half of the year. All we can do is pray and hope that a vaccine is quickly developed and made available for use so that we can curb the suffering and anxiety caused by Covid.
The Coronavirus pandemic has certainly changed the way that committees and other organisations hold their meetings. All of the NVS Trustee meetings are now being held on-line using Zoom, and the National Executive has purchased a Zoom license
to allow meetings to take place for longer than the 40 minute restriction that apply to unlicensed sessions. We in the Southern Branch are also holding our Committee Meetings via Zoom and have likewise purchased a Zoom license. Discussions within Committee are underway as to how we will hold our 2021 AGM, having held the 2020 AGM literally days before lockdown came into force. The likelihood is that
we may have it on-line using Zoom. The
big advantage of Zoom meetings is that members, no matter where they live can attend, borne out by the fact that Graeme Le Marquand living in Jersey and Ian Clemens in Devon can now both attend the Committee meetings. Because of the large area that we cover, and with Committee Members living at the extremes of the region, we may consider that once things get back to normal we hold a couple of meetings a year face-to-face with Zoom meetings for the remainder. This is still to be discussed but is an option. The Trustees are also considering a mix of Zoom and face-to-face meeting when normality returns although again, nothing has yet been decided.
Regardless of what is likely to happen, I have ordered (October 2020) nearly all of my seed requirements for 2021, complimenting the seed that I have saved, and have a list of the Shows that I intend to exhibit at and what classes I will be entering. As I write this there is some uncertainty as to where the NVS National Championships will be held
in 2021, but we are expecting it to be held in Wales at the beginning of September. Wherever it does finally end up being held I most certainly intend to be there.
On the 10th April 2020 I announced the
first ever NVS on-line competition enabling Southern Branch members to enter some competition, as it was looking highly likely that most if not all shows in 2020 would be cancelled, which is was what eventually did happen. The competition was very simple, each member would cultivate the free
Falco Turnip seed donated by D.T.Brown and submit two photos of a dish of two turnips, one with both side-by-side above
a tape measure to gauge size, the second would be end-on from the bottom to
gauge the roundness of one exhibit. The closing date was 28th July, which should have been the opening day of the, by-then cancelled, Southern Branch Championships at the New Forest and Hampshire Show, however this date was extended to the
end of August in order to encourage more entries. Eventually, 9 members entered their photos which I placed in Dropbox so that Keith Hine and Ian Clemens could access the photos to judge them. I am pleased
to announce that Roger Aycliffe came first with 12.5 points, second was yours truly with 12 points and Alan Bartlett third with 9.5 points. For those interested, all of the photo entries can be found at https:// AAA3qAjdRTW1zQ8iZ3F1IuODa?dl=0
This is the full list of entrants with competitor numbers to ID the photos.
our allotments and gardens to bed for the winter, and with thoughts of daylight hours increasing and warmer weather, we hope, on the way. Some early seed sowing will already have been started on heat and under lights and I will be preparing my dahlia tubers ready for starting off in compost in order to take cuttings a little later for new plants. I made a huge mistake when I planted out
my dahlias in 2020 by not allowing sufficient room between rows for me to disbud and tie in the stems, so a new layout has been drawn up and hopefully all will now be fine.
2021 is also the year where I am taking the growing of long root carrots and parsnips more seriously, having already prepared
the growing tubes and protective structure as mentioned in my Autumn report. Canna Coir, which I am using to grow the roots in, will be a new experience for me and it will
be interesting to see how they all turn out, but as they say “nothing ventured, nothing gained” so I will report back in my autumn 2021 report as to the outcome, good or bad.
Neil Hope, who has been the Southern Branch Treasurer and Membership Secretary for a number of years has announced that he intends to stand down from both roles at the Southern Branch AGM in March 2021. Neil has given sterling service to the Branch including supporting me when I agreed to take on the Branch Chair role in 2019 but what seems to have been a lifetime ago now. For many years Neil was also the NVS Membership Registrar and served on the NVS Board of Trustees helping to steer the Society in the right direction. He is also a National Vegetable Society Vice-President awarded for his outstanding service given
to the Society. He has not yet mentioned whether or not he will stand down from the Branch Committee and it is my hope that
he will remain, as his wealth of knowledge relating to the NVS Southern Branch is extensive. Whatever he does, we all wish him and his wife Daphne well for the future.
Whatever you do between now and the Spring edition of SV, I wish you all well, keep safe and hopefully, we will be able to meet up again once more very soon.
Norman Dickinson Southern Branch Chairman
 Competitor Number
  Competitor Name
  Roger Ayliffe
 Not awarded
  Linda Hargrave
 Not awarded
  Mike Snowdon
  Norman Dickinson
  Alan Bartlett
 Not awarded
  Louise Clubley
 Not awarded
  Joe Perera
 Not awarded
  Christine Gibson
 Not awarded
   Helen & Ian Swyer
   62 Simply Vegetables
Congratulations go to the winners with
a big thank you to all who entered. Thanks also go to Keith and Ian for judging, although here I make a huge apology to Marion Neden. Originally there were going to be three judges for the competition, but when
I sent out the link to Dropbox I forgot to include Marion. My excuse was a reduction of grey matter, but she never bought that and I had to eat a large portion of humble pie, so Marion, here is a very public apology.
Most of us by now in January will have prepared, manured/composted and put
Change of address
for membership
Please note that the address for Neil Hope, Southern Branch Membership Secretary is now:
53 Frogmore Park Drive, Blackwater, Camberley, Surrey, GU17 0PJ
Email address remains as: Telephone: 01276 35217 Mobile: 07761 664567
MEMBERS 50000 TO 59999

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