Talking Vegetables at the National Vegetable Society Meeting

National Vegetable Society Meeting

The weather might be keeping us off the plot, but that doesn’t stop us talking about vegetables so off to the Hop Pole for our DA meting last night. To give it the full title:

Crewe and Nantwich District Association of the National Vegetable Society

How’s that for a mouthful!

Attendance is quite variable at these meetings of ours, the one we had back in November with Medwyn Williams being the best at around 50 but we did have an article in the paper mentioning his talk. This meeting was about sixteen but those who didn’t come out into the wet missed a good one.

John Bebbington, who I have a few photos of  in my photograph section , gave a talk about how he grows potatoes for show.

Not only did he haul his slide projector and screen in but two seed trays complete with chitted early potatoes, growbags and fertiliser packs, which he donated for our raffle. We popped an unwanted Christmas present donated to us by a friend and a bottle of fizz we picked up in France – so a good raffle.

Anyway, his talk on growing potatoes was really good. Despite having won some top prizes exhibiting his potatoes, there’s no edge on him at all. Answers basic questions with the same seriousness as those from expert show growers. Except, I suspect, he doesn’t tell the other top growers all his secrets!

The lengths these top growers go to are really quite extraordinary. Mixing growing medium in concrete mixers, pallet loads of peat, irrigation systems that would shame a professional grower to name but a few. As for getting down to the plot at 5.30 am to check things? not for me.

Still, there are always tips that the table grower can pick up, the main one being how greedy potatoes are. To get a good crop, you really need to make sure they have enough food. More than you think.

We settled our schedule for the next few meetings, updating the NVS Crewe web site next. Jake, from our forums, will be giving a talk on permaculture in March, which I’m certainly looking forward to.

Our chairman keeps avoiding my offer to give a talk on comfrey. Don’t know why. He either thinks me boring enough to drive everyone away or the subject  doesn’t turn him on. Maybe both.

Here’s hoping for some decent weather.

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