Thursday 6 September 2012

Chilli Time

Here is this years batch of Spitfire Sauce - I usually have enough to make over 100 jars which I sell locally but due to lack of polytunnel this year, my chilli production has been seriously reduced. However, there are approximately 250 big red cayenne peppers in this batch - seeds'n'all

I still have a heap of Jalapeno Peppers which will be used to make a batch of Hurricane Sauce, which is also a hot chilli sauce but is more of a slow burn at the back of the throat compared to the instant hit of the Spitfire Sauce.

Monday 3 September 2012

Alness Show 2012

Well, I managed to get some exhibits together for Alness Show and benched the on Saturday morning before heading off to work. In all I benched 9 exhibits and came away with 5 red cards and 3 blue ones, so I was very pleased, especially as these were basically the last of my show veg for the year. I got red cards for my Peas (which I was very pleased to win and even more pleased at the comments on how good they were from much more experienced growers than myself),

Runner Beans, (though there were a couple of iffy ones on my board if I do say so myself)

 Broad Beans,

 Potatoes (white)

and long beetroot.- which i somehow managed to miss taking a photo of.

I also won a red card for Sweet Peas (which I entered and staged on behalf of Scotsburn Garden - see my other blog). That's our entry at the rear (12 blooms)

I got blue cards for my parsnips (I did manage to get three that were okay), my potatoes (coloured) and my cauliflower.
There were some excellent exhibits at this show, just a few of which you can see below


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.

Sunday 22 July 2012

Sutherland Show 2012

Sutherland Show took place yesterday and was blessed with the first good day of sun we have had in quite a while. I wnt over in the morning and although I had little of my own to bench in the Flower Show, with the help of a couple of the gardens I work in, I managed to take a few exhibits along. As a result, I came away with some cards which was a real bonus. I also caught up with some friends who I haven't seen since last years show season and that is always the best part. As you would imagine, the weather (or lack of good weather to be precise) was the main talking point, with quite a few veg showers bemoaning the poor size of their leeks and onions compared to other seasons. Anyway, here are a few pics I took on the day, with captions where appropriate....

Top Tray won by Wattie McBeath from The Doll

And I got a second for this vase (alright I used a bucket !) of garden flowers - all from Scotsburn Garden, the subject of my other blog, where I work on Tuesdays.