Newsletter – Jan 17

Veg Judge will give top tips for entering Produce Show

The Society’s Annual General Meeting will be held at the Castle Ward Club, Kingsley Street on Wednesday, March 1 at 7.30pm.

The annual meeting is the perfect time and place to learn about the Society’s business, financial standing and activity over the past pear – plus its plans for the year ahead.  An extra special attraction is a talk by the Show’s regular fruit and veg judge Paul Neve about exhibiting at shows.  This will give hints and tips on making the most of what you have grown and an encouragement to enter.  Every year he remarks on how good the exhibits are but that he wishes more people made the effort to support the show, display some of what they have worked hard to grow and get into the spirit of what is ultimately a really good fun event.  How many times have you thought that your onions are better, your pumpkin bigger, your marrow heavier or your plums more perfect?  Well come along, listen to Paul and follow it through with entries in September.  It is open to paid-up members with a free buffet too.

Ermine Street Allotments: latest

Thirty eight houses are to be built on the former Ermine Allotments Site off Riseholme Road.

Following years of decline the City Council concluded that the plots were no longer needed, with proceeds from the sale pledged to be invested back into the city’s allotment service.  This will be invested as identified by the Allotment Strategy, with clearance of ditches already identified as a priority.

Hip Hip Hooray to the winners of last year’s Show

With seeds ready to be sown, now’s as good a time as any to reflect back on the 2016 Produce Show and congratulate all of the exhibitors – not least first time entrant Lou Towers who scored highly and won both the Novice’s Cup and a new RHS medal.

While there were not so many entrants across the board, they still managed to put on a tremendous display which kept the judges busy for some time.  The main results are below.
See overleaf for detail of this year’s Show on September 16.

Fruit & Veg
1 – Jason Hippisley
2 – Basil Clarke
3 – Lynn Ritson
1 – Lynn Ritson
2 – Jason Hippisley / Ken Ward
3 – Lou Towers / Basil Clarke
1 – Lou Towers
2 – Lynn Ritson
3 – Dave Cordingley
1 – Jason Hippisley
2 – Lou Towers
3 – Lucy Hockney
1 – Joseph Hippisley
2 – Florence Hippisley
George Foster Shield for most points in show – Jason Hippisley
Novice Cup – Lou Towers

Sowing seeds for Sale’s success

As and when you come to sow your seeds, prick out and grow on, please do remember your fellow gardeners who may not be as gifted at germination as you.

Seed packets usually have more in them than we need ourselves, so why not sprinkle those extra few seeds into a pot or a tub to donate for sale at the Society’s Plant Sale on May 13 – back in its normal place at Bailgate Methodist Church.  And if you find you run out of room when planting out, pot up the spares – or the thinnings – and offer them for sale too.  We rely entirely on donated fruit, vegetable and herb plants to sell on our stall, which ultimately raises money to fund the Show and support the Society’s ongoing work.  Every year we are asked for a wide variety of plants but we can only sell what we have – so please do plant extras and pot on, label up and donate any surplus you have.  The public ask for all sorts and so the broadest possible selection would be much appreciated: squash, sweetcorn, peas, beans, leeks, brassicas, unusual, tumbling tomatoes etc.  Please label with variety and if possible growing requirements (indoor/outdoor tomatoes especially) and type (pointed/ open cabbage or pod/ mangetout pea etc).  Compost and cell trays can be supplied by the Store for anyone growing for the Sale.  Just ask.  All donated plants will be welcomed, ideally ahead of the 10am start.

Appeal for used tool donations

Your unwanted or unused horticultural implement may be just what another gardener is looking for.

Garden tools that are useable or repairable can be recycled via the Used Tools Stall at the May Sale – so do remember while sorting out your shed or garage that bringing them along to the NLHS Store on a Saturday morning could be the perfect solution for both you and someone else.  But don’t blame us when you’re tempted to buy them back after the experts have polished and cleaned them up!  Large items or collections can be picked up by Alan Shuck.

Store opening times

The Society’s great value store at the Clarence Street Allotment site will be open as follows:

  • January 28 – 9am to 1pm
  • February 4 – 9am to 1pm
  • February 11 – 9am to 12pm
  • February 18 and then every Saturday – 9am to 11.30am

Open invitation to the Show

Building on the advice of Paul Neve at the AGM, everyone will be looking towards a busy spring, a productive summer and then reaping the rewards at the Show on September 16.

It is important that everyone promotes among friends, neighbours and fellow plot-holders that this is an Open Show eligible to all-comers, not just members.  Wouldn’t it be great if we all got more involved – especially children – otherwise this could be the last one.  The hall is booked, the judges arranged, the schedule reviewed and new volunteers set to run it.  All that’s needed now is a good turnout of entrants and entries.

Society matters

From next year the way the Society collects membership fees will be changing.

Currently the charge for most people is added in to the total when they place their seed orders in the autumn, but from 2018 they will be charged at the point of collection.  The Treasurer feels that this will make the recording of the income clearer; with Membership Forms available in the store.  The AGM will vote on a suggested membership fee of £4, which Chairman Alan Shuck said would help to meet the maintenance of the store and the new demonstration plot.

The allotment given to the Society by the Council has now been cleared of all rubbish.  The aim is to create a showcase allotment to help people new to having an allotment; selling produce at the Show.

Fruit trees are now planted in the Members’ Garden at the Clarence Street Store and work continues on the pond. A hive of bees will be relocated to the site in the spring.

The website has been renewed for a further year. Address above.

The committee has been supportive of Members in respect of recent troubles at the Long Leys Road allotments.