Rather than our usual meeting at the Hop Pole we went to our district association’s chair’s house in Middlewich. John Carver, our chair, is a prizewinning show grower as is his son Andrew and they’re certainly well equipped.
The large garden to the rear of the house boasts a lawn that would put most bowling greens to shame and a small greenhouse used for flowers. Then we come to the vegetable growing area.
Huge polytunnels that are nearly large enough for an aircraft hanger and a few greenhouses with an outdoor vegetable garden comprised of block sided raised beds with paved pathways between.
John Carver is not like some show growers, he’ll happily share his knowledge and techniques freely. Many show growers would not be happy letting potential competitors into their garden but John actively wants to help everyone – show or table grower.
He doesn’t just grow for show, the raised beds outside boast enough crops to keep half the town, never mind his family, going. To me the real mystery of his success is where he gets the time for it all.
It wasn’t a formal meeting with a talk, just a gathering where members chatted exchanging tips and help. Some members brought along sandwiches and cakes and John’s wife provided tea and coffee by the gallon to keep us lubricated.
The huge polytunnel where he grows the leeks and onions is fantastic, it seems bigger than my allotment. The photo below is John explaining how the leek grows and how the stem is blanched.
There are more photographs from the evening on the site here.