Friday, 31 August 2012

Fangs for the memory

I'm off to Alness Show tomorrow so this evening I went to pull the last barrel of parsnips to try and get a set of three. Can you imagine how I felt when the first and third ones I pulled came out looking like this ?

Thankfully the other three gave me a set - not the best but they'll look okay on the bench.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Strawberry Glut

My mate Simon has a lot of strawberries in his p/tunnel and I got a call saying to come and help myself as he had too many ! So yesterday evening I went over with the girls to p[ick a few. Well the girls abandoned me in favour of playing with the Wii, so I picked two large bowls - approx 8lbs.
And tonight I have made a large batch of "no cook" strawberry jam and started two batches of Strawberry Gin which should be ready for the festive season.

Simon and Yvonne made this a coule of years ago and it was delish so a quick search on Googlr and up popped the recipe - dead simple - sugar, strawbs and cheap gin

Monday, 20 August 2012

Tain Horticultural Show 2012

Well, the show I started three years ago continues to get bigger and better, and in spite of the atrocious growing season, not only were entries up in both the veg and flower categories, our new photo competition proved a great success.

I did well too - in spite of not showing in as many categories, I still managed 13 x 1st, 2 x 2nd and 2 x 3rd, winning three trophies along the way. Here are some pics of the show with info on each, - first off some general shots just before judging started

These next two photos are of the winning sweet peas, exhibited by Sally Durham whose garden at Scotsburn is the subject of my other blog

The winning vase of Perennials from John Ross, Rogart

George Pirie's Begonia which won both Best Pot Plant and Best in Show titles....

My winning collection of potatoes - from the top - Kestrel, BlueBelle, Sherine, Amour......

and coloured tatties, variety Amour......

Winning Peas, variety Show Perfection

Winning Broad Beans, variety Heathfield

Winning Onion from sets and Red Onions

Ian Coghill from Caithness was rewarded with Best Veg Exhibit for these Kelsae onions

My Blanch Leeks, variety Pendle Improved

Winning Potatoes (White) variety Sherine

and winning French Beans, variety Prince

And in Any Other Veg - my winning Parsnips, variety Pinnacle, and second placed Long Beet.

And finally, a pic of all the trophy winners at this years show.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Tattie Time

With the local show only a week ago, I took the time today to go through my show tatties and try and get some sort of order  before I make my final selection and washand clean them on Thursday night in preparation for the bench.
I cut the shaws (haulms if you live in the south) off last week and the bags have been left for a week to help the skins to set on the tatties.
Anyway, as I was emptying the bags, any really small tubers were put to one side and this is what I was left with to consider....

From top to bottom we have BlueBelle, Kestrel, Casablanca, Sherine and Amour. The BlueBelle and Casablanca struggled to produce a reasonable number of suitable sized tubers but the rest were okay, and in addition the BlueBelle were the only variety to show any trace of scab. The star performer was Sherine. Anyway, aftre a further selection process, I arrived at my final numbers to choose from on Thursday night. I need a set of 4 white,a set of 4 coloured, and a collection, comprising 4 tubers each of 4 different varieties. This last concerns me a bit as to get an even set for the collection I may have to reduce tuber size from what I would like them to be but it is better to have a smaller better matched set than a collection where the tubers are of different sizes.