Monday 30 January 2012

Get the Show on the road

Although it's only the end of January, it's already time to start the ball rolling for our local Horticultural Show. The Town Hall (and the kitchen) has been booked so the date is now confirmed as the 18th August. I know this may seem early, and I feel that it is a bit early too - but we have very few weekends up here at that time of year that don't clash with other shows, so we are trying to establish a date for our show that is the first Saturday after the schools go back up here.
There will be quite a few changes this year - some classes will be dropped and maybe one or two tweaked slightly, but the biggest change will be the splitting of classes. As yet, we (The Committee) need to decide whether we should opt for Open and Confined (Confined being for growers within a designated geographical area) or Open and Novice (Novice being open to anyone who has not previously won a trophy). I know which I favour but in this age of demovracy etc etc.
W also need to decide on a competition for the members of the gardening club - any suggestions will be gratefully received. Last year it was for the heaviest weight of potatoes grown in a polypot from a single tuber (supplied by the club). I quite like the idea of buying a batch of Kelsae plants from Mr Fothergills (delivered in April) and giving one to each member to grow on. These could shown as grown, so no dressing required, and who knows, it may even lead some members onto the path towards growing for show.
And we need to decide on a two classes for the childrens competition. Last year we had veg / fruit animals for the older kids and painting of a flower for the younger ones. Again, any suggestions gratefully received.
Will keep you posted as things develop.

Sunday 22 January 2012

Feck, Feck, Feck !

Well, after the windiest winter months I can remember, yesterday was by far the wildest day we have had up here, and my polytunnel finally conceded defeat to the elements.
After Finlay phoned me to say there was a tear in one end, I raced over from where I was working in the vain hope of saving it but when I arrived the tear was over the end hoop so could not be repaired.

So I emptied the tunnel of it's contents - pots, trays, modules and a lot of other paraphenalia, transferred everything to the shed, then started to cut away the cover.

This isn't the easiest of tasks in a howling gale as effectively you are holding onto the worlds biggest kite. Anyway it took me about half and hour but the plastic cover is now filling my shed!

At least I'll have plenty of covers for my raised beds and barrels this year!

Monday 9 January 2012

2012 Here We Go

Well, after much consideration I have decided on my 2012 campaign for show growing. I shall be growing the following;
Stump Carrots - Sweet Candle
Long Carrots - New Red Intermediate
Parsnips - Pinnacle
Globe Beetroot - Pablo
Cauliflowers - Cornell
Large Onions - Kelsae
Onions from sets - Hercules, Centurion
Runner Beans - Stenner
French Beans - Ian Stocks reselection
Peas - Ian Stocks reselection of Show Perfection
Broad beans - Heathfield (Frank Taylor)
5 varieties of potatoes (JBA Potatoes)
I will be growing other veg for the family and also at the various gardens I work at. So there will also be culinary leeks, celeriac, assorted salad leaves and lettuce. chillies galore, sweet peppers, PSB, kale, cabbage, sugar snap peas, globe artichokes, jerusalem artichokes, chard and probably many more that have escaped my memory for the moment.
I shall be organising the local show again this year and as well as enetring that, I hope to enter at least 4 other local shows including the Sutherland and Black Isle Shows.
In addition, myself and "ontheplot" from Kinloss are hoping to get a Highland and Moray District Assocaition of the NVS up and running this year.
So there should be plenty to blog about !