The Plot

The Plot

Monday, 16 January 2017

2017 season (16/1/17)

I have not been on the blog for sometime, so here is a couple of photos of where my plants are at this point in time. I have some Lhanberis leeks which are under 12 hr lights and in 1/2 ltr pots.  They are starting to grow now and need potting on this weekend coming.

Here are my pot leeks. I received them from Gareth Cameron at the NVS Scottish Branch seminar in mid November.  They are from Joe MacKenzie and are in 1/2 ltr pots.  These will also be potted up into ltr pots at the weekend as well.

Here are my onions. They are Kelsae from Alistair Gray seed.  Sown on the 11th December and pricked out between Christmas and New Year. They are now under 24 hrs lights and are starting to move on. I'm happy with them and will need to get supports on them through the week. 

I have set myself goals this year.  The first being to try and win both the collection and Potato board at the Black Isle Show which is on 2nd & 3rd August. I have never won the potato board at this show and it is 4 years since I won collect.
The second goal is to produce large quality onions this year. I have struggled over the last few years to produce large onions of any size or quality.
The third goal is to exhibit at Kelso show on the local side as the Scottish NVS Branch are holding the branch championships down there on the 27th August.

Friday, 5 December 2014

National Vegetable Society judges exam and 2015

Well folks this is what dropped through my letter box on Tuesday morning while I was at work.  I decided this year to try and pass the NVS judges exams which were held in October this year. So after a period of revision on old passed theory papers and getting the chance to shadow more experienced judges I set off to Auchterarder to sit the exam.  To say that I'm chuffed to bits to have passed is a slight understatement.  All I need to do now is learn to grow the veg correctly.

I am re-newing a lot of my beds this year so there will be a number of posts on bed size etc.  I have secured 100 8ft scaffolding boards which I intend to treat with a wood preserve then cover with DPC.  I also intend to have them 2 boards deep if possible.  This will allow me to incorporate plenty garden compost and FYM to help hold the moisture.  that's the plan anyway.
With the Nationals being held at Dundee this year I am hoping that I will have a couple of exhibits to take there, but we will have to wait and see.  

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Scottish Branch Championship Dunfermline 2014

Well at the start of the year my goal was to exhibit at the NVS Scottish Branch Championships at Dunfermline with the hope of gaining a "Red" ticket. I did succeed in benching two exhibits this year, but unfortunately did not succeed in gaining a first.  There were some great exhibits at the show and two other fellow members of our North of Scotland District Association were also exhibiting.  Steve Halifax had a number of exhibits down and gained a good third in the blanched leek class where the best exhibit in show came from.  Steve also gained a fourth in the collections which again was a strong section.  Graham Taylor from Ardersier was down for his first Branch Championship where he had an excellent show, gaining two thirds and a fourth.  Graham had a very well deserved 3rd in the under 250 gms onion class and a forth in the strong blanched leek class.  He also gained a third in the 1,1,1 veg class for exhibitors who have never won a red ticket at a NVS show.
Below is my second prize entry in the 1,1,1 class.  Sweet candle, Morning Star, Show Perfection.
 The Branch Championships was held in conjunction with Fife Flower Show so here is a photo showing the fantastic display of flowers.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Dufftown 2014 Show Results

This last weekend was the two day show at Dufftown.  It is a well supported show and attracts exhibitors from Banffshire and Morayshire.  Considering the monsoon like weather this area suffered for nearly 3 weeks in August there were a good turn out of exhibits. In the Veg section Sandy Robertson from Rothienorman was the main winner with his collection and large onions also winning the NVS medal for best exhibit. Iain Lumsden of Huntly secured the Arthur Rugg trophy which was for Onions from set this year with an exceptional dish of Setton onions. I was fortunate enough to secure the trophy for most points in the veg section and retain the trophy for the potato collection with 7 firsts 3 seconds and 2 thirds  from my 12  entries.   This is a very friendly but competetive show and it was great to spend an enjoyable Sunday speaking to like minded growers.  I was also able to encourage a number of exhibitors to consider coming up to Inverness on the 18th of October to the North Of Scotland NVS DA meeting. Where one of the top growers in Scotland Mr Alister Gray will be giving a talk on Blanched Leeks.  This takes place at the Cheiftain Hotel Inverness on 18th October at 2.00 pm all interested welcome.  
 Above is my dish of coloured and white potatos, Bonnie and Harmony.  I have been fortunate to win this class for the last 3 years.
 Above is my potato collection, they were slightly on the small side but lovely and clean.
 This is the collection boards with Sandy Robertson's winning board in the center, Bert Marshall's board to the left and my own 3rd placed board to the right. 
 The leeks boards with Sandy's far right my own second prize one center and Dod Jamieson's one on the left
This shows Sandy's winning onions far right and my own smaller second placed ones center.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Lhanbryde show results 2014

Saturday 30th August brought Lhanbryde Flower Show.  Over the last 6 years this show has been a fairly happy hunting ground for me. I was fairly apprehensive this year as some of my produce was not up to scratch, in particular I had been having a problem with my stump carrots and my potatoes.  On Friday evening I pulled the carrot below from my last stump bed. These are Sweet Candle and were sown on 2/5/2014. I they are probably the best set I have ever pulled and I only pulled 4 to get these 3. They were 10.5 inches long and 7 inches round the crown. So this set me up nicely fro my collection as I also had 4 nice Maxine. The show went very well for me with a total of 11 firsts and 1 second out of 12 entries.  I also managed to win the trophy for "Onions from Set" and Won the best exhibit with my collection in the premier section. very happy with the result. Below are a selection of my entries.
 First with my tattie board, Maxine, Harmony, Blue Belle & Bute.
 First with my under 250 gms onions " Globo"
 First with "Show Perfection"
 First with my Collection
 First with onion from set " Hercules"
 The board with the "Premier Section" Trophy.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Nairn & District annual show

Saturday was Nairn show and there was a number of good entries forward. Below shows the four collections. I was fortunate enough to win this class with the board on the far right with the celery on it. 
Below is my Celery before mounting it on the board

This is two of my Parsnips I also got a first with Parsnips

They main winners were G Taylor  who won the the Croy Tankard for most pionts in the Onions,leeks and Shallot classes. Kate Fraser won best exhibit in show with 3 stump carrots.  Next show Lhanbryde this Saturday.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Black Isle Show 2014 Results

 Sorry for not up dating much this year but been flat out with work and not had a lot of time.  On Wednesday 7/8/14 was the black Isle show where we had a really good turn out of Veg exhibitors. I had 13 entries in gaining 3 Firsts, 3 Seconds and 3 Thirds. So well pleased. The over all best exhibit in the Fruit & Veg and in the whole Flower show was Steve Halifax with his Leeks. These were a lovely matched pair measuring 10.75 inch i girth and 19.5 inches to the button.

Steve's Winning Leeks 
 My first prize beetroot "Pablo"
 My second prize white potatoes "Harmony"
 My third prize collection. Pacific Parsnip, Carmen Cucumber, Kelsae Onions, Sweet Candle Carrots, Maxine Potatoes. 
 My second prize collection of potatoes. Kestrel,Amour,Harmony,Maxine. Was really pleased with this as there were 6 collections in. 
My first prize salad box