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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Land of the Giants

My giant marrow seems to be growing so fast that you can almost see it getting bigger if you stand and look at it.i have never grown a giant before and am not sure how long it will carry on growing for

Monday, 29 August 2011

Full Blow by Blow Report

Saturday was the Slaithwaite and district Horticultural society 104th annual show which is in my own village and is well supported with lots of good growers as most other shows in the area have now fallen by the wayside and disappeared which is a shame.I have been invited to join the committee and have accepted hopefully we will be able to keep the show going for many years to come our main problem at the moment is lack of space as we have outgrown the present venue.
Now down to the serious stuff I will list all my cards and include some photos at the end plus a couple of comments on judging.
First place cards
Marrow, (Table Dainty)Red Cabbage,turnips,coloured Potatoes (Amoure)Under peas,peas under 4.5",onions from setts dressed (Japanese over winter) proof it does work Undsworth.Carrots,Dwarf bean flat,dwarf beans round,runner beans,Leeks,collection of 4 veg (Best in Show Blue ribbon award)dressed onions,and top tray.
Second place cards
Dressed onion,parsley,turnips,marrow,carrots,dwarf bean flat,white cabbage,onions 3 from setts dressed,peas,cabbage as grown,Swedes,beetroot,broad beans,red cabbage
third place cards
one flower and one veg,potatoes white,dwarf beans round,cauliflower,cucumber,cabbage as grown,broad beans,lettuce.
All in all a good day I picked up 6 trophies and awards and 60 quid in prize money which will buy the sand for my new stump bed which I have decided to build so I can grow more stumps as I do mot intend bothering with long carrots next year.
as for the judging I thought he did a good job apart from a couple of things which were Lettuces mine were perfect unblemished specimens and one managed third the first and second placed entries were scabby and moth eaten
the other thing I think he got wrong was awarding my
leeks best veg in members section I think he should have picked something else as the leeks were the ones I staged at huddersfield 2 weeks ago and the flags were discoloured but he is a leek man so that is probably why.











Sunday, 28 August 2011


Just a brief report with more to follow,all in all a very sucess full day
15 firsts
15 seconds
8 thirds
out of 47 exhibits

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Progress and countdown to local show

With my local show this coming Saturday where I will be benching 40+ exhibits it will be quite hectic for the rest of the week I have been measuring and selecting leeks today making sure i leave the best for harrogate. also for the last few days I have been cutting runner and prince beans as they reach the required size these have then been sorted in to sets wrapped in damp kitchen roll and stored in the fridge ready for the show I have around 20 prince beans at 20cm and should be able to make 2 cracking sets of 6 plus 2 sets of 6 runners and hopefully a further set of runners for the top is also possible to straighten them as long as you do not use too much force.

The giant marrow that set about 2 weeks ago is growing so fast you can nearly see it growing in the space of the last 5 days it has gone from 12" long by 12" round at the thickest point to today's measurement of 24" x 24" unbelievable

On a less positive note one of my quality onions has decided to start rotting in the neck good job I have plenty to go at.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Passion fruit

Someone sent this to me today it is a passion fruit tree growing in Brazil which has strange shaped fruits, may be good for Harrogate, not sure how many points they are worth though. No wonder she has no teeth lol.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Proof I can smile

More pics from the show to dispel the myth that I am a miserable get
 Always take someone to carry the trophies

Sunday, 14 August 2011

A Day of 2 halves

It has been a funny kind of a day with lows and highs a sort of Merlot and rioja day.As they say I will start with the bad news first,after spending Thursday evening through to Friday morning on a job sleeping in my van and climbing trees with a camcorder (I think I am getting too old for this) still came in with the goods though.I then had to spend Friday taking Linda to dress wedding the time i got home and on to the garden it was gone 8pm I then rose at 5 am this morning to pull the long roots and a few other things that were needed.I climbed in to the Parsnip and long carrot house and started to pull long carrots from the drums,every one that i pulled had been attacked by carrot fly so i moved to the parsnips which had the same problem what ensued was carrot and parsnip carnage. I ended up pulling nearly every one and could not get any usable specimens and finally gave in and admitted defeat.My attentions then turned to the stumps and after pulling several specimens of both abaco and sweet candle I had some decent show able carrots and in particular I had a fantastic pair of sweet candle the best carrots I have ever grown.So off I went to Huddersfield with only an hour and a half left before the end of staging, I arrived and began staging leaving my collection till the last, when it came to staging the collection there was not enough room on the table so the organisers brought another table and set it up for my display which was a 3x 2 collection  2 leeks 2 stump rooted carrots and 2 large onions this was duly placed on the table and i made it for 955pm just time to check everything before judging then just before 10 I was approached by the stewards and told that they had now made space elsewhere for my collection and would like me to move it, I set about transferring the veg and moved the first leek as I placed  in the new position I heard a thud behind me and turned round to see the best ever carrot I have ever grown on the floor with a split in the side caused by the impact.Then the trouble started no one seemed to be bothered about the problem and after much negotiation a deal was struck and it was agreed that the exhibit would be judged in the condition that it was first exhibited fingers crossed this would happen.
In their favor it did, and upon my return close to closing for the first day I found that out of the 16 exhibits that I staged I had 12 red cards and 1 not as schedule which was vento which were grown for 250g and staged as under 8oz they were about 5 grammes over, Chris the Gardner got first but needs to learn how to tie them get a grip Chris Prizes were awarded this afternoon and I was pleasantly surprised to win four awards these were as follows
NVS plaque for best potatoes in show with 4 blue belle
NVS Medal for best veg exhibit in show for the collection
John Armitage trophy for best exhibit in section f  for collection
Frank Roebuck Trophy for winner of class f28  for collection
all in all a good but stress full weekend




Tuesday, 9 August 2011


For the last few days I have been re building a dry stone wall and constructing a lean to shed, for a friend which will be used as a firewood store, this was completed this afternoon and now I will be turning my attention to Saturdays show I started by selecting the best ripened Vento I will need 2 sets of 3 for Saturday and have now tied the necks with raffia and trimmed the root plates they are now wrapped in paper and have been placed in a box for transportation.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

First show 1 week to go

With a week to go till my first show in Huddersfield all that can now be done is to harvest things as they reach size and generally prepare things my first task was to protect my table dainty marrows from damage this was done by removing all the foliage from round the fruit and using some pipe lagging to protect them from the cane and main stem.These will now be harvested at optimum size ready for Saturday I will keep them in the fridge wrapped in kitchen roll I will then cut the stem when staged this gives the appearance of being newly cut from the plant.

I also selected my best 2 sets of onions grown from setts these are now ripe and ready for tying with raffia

The remaining bags of blue belle spuds have now been emptied with some nice specimens which have now been stored in compost till required

My Pendle leeks that went to seed are now producing grass,I am hoping to get next years plants from these

Finally here is a picture of the kitchen veg selected for our Sunday tea .