Page 64 - Simply Vegetables Winter 2020/21
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                                Surrey DA
As you can imagine it has been a frustrating and difficult year and we trust everyone is keeping well and staying safe, members have been busily growing and tending their gardens producing excellent vegetables and fruit.
The Surrey DA have arranged a full programme of meetings for 2021 which
we hope that we will be able to hold them, visits to the Autopot headquarters and a Fruit Farm have been pencilled in and will be confirmed nearer the time when the current situation is clearer. We wait to hear if the RHS events in 2021 will be held at Wisley and look forward to attending if possible.
Programme 2021
All meetings held at East Horsley Village Hall, Kingston Avenue, KT24 6QT except where stated.
• Sat 13th Feb - AGM
• Wed 10th March - Trevor Fawcett -
Growing Gladioli.
• Wed 14th April - Mark Dobell -
Modern Kitchen Garden, Redhill Methodist Church, Gloucester Road, Redhill RH1 1BP
• Wed 12th May - Tom Maskell - Hot Beds. Growing better vegetables.
• Wed 8th Sept - Paolo Arrigo ‘Seeds of Italy’
• Wed 13th Oct - Andrew Halstead - Bugs that Bite Back.
• Wed 10th Nov - Jim & Mary McDonald - Growing Sweet Peas for Exhibition & Pleasure.
Earlier this year I was asked to pen a few words for the RHS Garden Magazine for their “Why I joined” letters page, I hope it may attract new members to the NVS.
Why I belong to...
The National Vegetable Society
Keith Hine, of the Surrey District Association of the National Vegetable Society
‘I have been an enthusiastic gardener for many years, and had long enjoyed growing my own vegetables for the table before
I first exhibited crops at my local village show. I came across the National Vegetable Society when I saw their stand at the Taste
of Autumn event in 2015
at RHS Garden Wisley
in Surrey. I decided to
join there and then, and
soon began attending
my District Association
meetings to hear
speakers talk on many
horticultural subjects. ‘I
have been made to feel welcome from the outset, and have made a number of friends across the whole country through shows and meetings. A year on, I became an active member of the Surrey group and attended various events, displaying my harvests, giving advice and running workshops. I became a qualified judge for the National Vegetable Society in 2016 and now judge about around 12 shows a year, too.’
For information about other plant societies, visit
‘First published in the October 2020 issue of The Garden, the Royal Horticultural Society’s magazine. Visit:’
  Sussex DA
Well sadly there is not a lot to report again. The Autumn show at Ardingly did go ahead in October having achieved ‘good to go venue’ status from Visit England. Unfortunately the Horticultural Committee Chairman had resigned
and nobody else took up the reigns
to organise the horticultural section, sadly this meant the usual flower/ vegetable show did not go ahead so
we had nowhere suitable for our bureau and display. We are really hoping that come the South of England Show in June the Horticultural Committee will be working again so that we can return to what is such an important show for us,
however for now we will have to watch this space... although we have started planning to be there in some capacity.
I understand that some horticultural Societies held their shows ‘virtually’ and I believe they have proved to be successful. I know that I was asked to judge some vegetable classes virtually for Jersey which was very popular and extremely interesting, the standard was in deed a high standard. So until we can return to some normality this maybe a way forward.
In the meantime, we have carried over the 2020 programme to 2021 and our hope is that the hall we use will soon be able to accommodate us with the COVID
Restrictions which will probably still be in place in some form at least until Spring. With this in mind we are postponing our AGM in January, our hall is (at the time of going to press) only allowing 12 people at a meeting with additional restrictions on the use of the facilities. All the current Sussex Officers are happy to continue for another year.
Our first talk for 2021 will be on12th May at 7.30pm when we will see Mark Saunders from Fittleworth House returning to talk on Growing Naturally. We have left March free for now until we know nearer the time how things are.
Marion Nedon
Welsh Branch
Our concern and thoughts go to our Chairman Jim Thompson. Jim has suffered with ill health recently and has had to stand down. We all send him our best wishes and hope he recovers soon.
The Welsh Branch like all others have
not been able to meet since March and
the Branch show we planned at Wrexham had to be cancelled. This was a big disappointment because since the demise of shows like Rhondda-Cynon-Taff’s annual flower show and Neath-Port Talbot’s annual show at Margam Park, our branch has had to hold stand-alone branch championships at venues like the National Botanic garden of Wales and the Museum of Welsh life at
St Fagans nr Cardiff. We are very grateful to these establishments for allowing us to use their venues without having to pay for hall hire costs, and of course our shows have been held where the public visit. The importance of being able to re-arrange our branch championships at Wrexham in 2021 has been two-fold. To show appreciation
to our North Wales committee members who has secured a fully sponsored show for the first time in a decade. And to allow our cash reserves to largely stay in tact in a miserable year where our fund-raising events at RHS Cardiff spring show, The Royal Welsh show in July and our annual raffle at our championship show in the
autumn all cancelled. The misery continues as it’s been confirmed that RHS Cardiff Show will not return because the City Council’s finances are so stretched through the virus. I did manage to secure the Royal Welsh Showground’s grandstand to hold a committee meeting outdoors but even this was scuppered by lockdowns.
I hope next year will be better and allow
us to meet up with each other and get a few of our vegetables to flower shows. I really do hope we can all get together next year. In the meantime, please stay safe.
Ivor Mace Vice Chairman
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