Getting Started on the Show Bench

Getting Started on the Show Bench

This 68 page A4 guide to growing and showing vegetables by Derek Brooks, edited by David Alison provides an introduction to this fascinating hobby. Packed with information and colour photographs.

From July 2008 to January 2011, Derek Brooks of Worsley, Manchester wrote a series of 11 articles in the National Vegetable Society quarterly magazine “ Simply Vegetables”. These were intended to whet the appetite of non-exhibiting members to “have a go” on the showbench, and covered a number of vegetable “ families” detailing how to grow them and show them. This book has now been completely revised, with up-to date show varieties and  suppliers,  chemicals no longer available have been deleted, and many more new photo’s added.

The articles are written in a very easy to understand format, and intended primarily for members to exhibit initially at local shows, which is where most exhibitors dip their toes into the showing game, some subsequently becoming experts in their particular fields, others becoming qualified NVS Judges. Its just one more aspect of our hobby which some find totally absorbing, growing and showing vegetables to perfection, to the admiration of many.

It must be emphasised that many of Derek’s techniques can and are used just to grow good quality vegetables for the table, as one of the qualities of show vegetables are to grow them to their culinary perfection, even though the judges do not taste them!

To complement these articles, there is a “jobs for the month” series from January to December, by David Allison, which in many ways complement the message Derek is trying to get across, and should provide a timely reminder of what should be done and when on your veg plot.











Contents

  • General tips and advice to get you going
  • Brassicas, Cabbages Cauli’s , etc
  • Legumes , Peas and Beans etc
  • Potatoes
  • Root crops, Carrots, parsnips , beetroot, turnips, Swedes etc.
  • Onions and Shallots.
  • Leeks and Celery
  • Tomatoes and Cucumbers
  • “Odds & Ends” including, Marrows, pumpkins, courgettes, Lettuce and Rhubarb
  • “Any other Veg” class, including Sweetcorn, Peppers, Aubergines and calabrese ( summer broccoli)
  • Collections
  • Jobs for the month, Jan to December.

To purchase please contact David Allison, 18 Sandholme Drive, Burley in Wharfdale, Ilkley, LS29 7RQ or your Branch Secretary - Cost £4.99 plus £2.00 P&P. Cheques payable to “The National Vegetable Society"


Getting started on the Allotment 

This 68 page A4 guide to growing and showing vegetables by Derek Brooks, edited by David Alison provides an introduction to this fascinating hobby. Packed with information and colour photographs.

This book is intended as a follow-up to “Getting started on the show bench” which was published in 2012.

It is intended to help anyone who has recently got or about to get their first allotment. You may of course be an experienced gardener in other areas but for the purpose of this book I am assuming that you are a beginner.

I will tell you all about tools and other equipment you may need , how to prepare the ground, and go through all the procedures that I consider important such as crop rotation and composting. We will look at different crops, the best varieties to grow and see how to grow, harvest and store them, concentrating on those that are easiest for beginners.

We will also look at pests and diseases and the use of fertilisers. I have written articles on these subjects before in N.V.S. publications but make no apologies for repeating these subjects here.

When considering  varieties I will tell you which suppliers sell each one. These will be correct at the time of writing but please remember that varieties and the suppliers who sell them change from year to year. New varieties are introduced each year. Some varieties have stood the test of time and gone on from year to year; other varieties , though, are withdrawn to be replaced by newer ones. If therefore you are reading this in a few years time you will need to check if the supplier still sells that particular variety. You will find a list of all the suppliers I have mentioned along with their telephone numbers at the end of this introduction.

There are so many varieties that it is difficult to pick out only a few but I will mention those that are most widely available. If a variety is widely available there must be a reason for it. Surely it must mean that those varieties are the most reliable and the best ones to grow, particularly for beginners.

I have had an allotment for fifteen years. Approximately half of it is devoted to flowers – Chrysanths, dahlias, roses, gladioli and annuals that I grow for cutting and showing but I am not writing about these here. Some of the general topics I am covering apply to flowers but this is an N.V.S. publication and therefore most of this book is about vegetables with two chapters on fruit.

To purchase please contact David Allison, 18 Sandholme Drive, Burley in Wharfdale, Ilkley, LS29 7RQ or your Branch Secretary - Cost £3.99 plus £2.00 P&P. Cheques payable to “The National Vegetable Society"


Getting started with Growing Fruit

This is the third in our series of “Getting Started” books. Gerry, our author is one of the most knowledgeable growers, exhibitors, judges and lecturers of fruit in the country today, and we are delighted that he has agreed to share is knowledge and enthusiasm with us, to enable this book on fruit to be published. We hope that it will fire your desire to grow some of the wonderful fruit that is explained in the 27c hapters that describe both top and soft fruit. Gerry is a totally organic grower, and wins at the highest level in fruit competitions in the UK.

As a keen fruit and vegetable grower myself, I can thoroughly recommend this book to both the novice and experienced grower. It provides a wealth of information including seasonal tips as he takes you through the fruit growing year, and recommends varieties to suit all tastes.

Gerry is currently Chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society Fruit Group, a member of their Fruit, Veg and Herb committee, as indeed I am, and a member of the RHS Fruit Trials Panel.

He has written for Garden news, The Garden magazine (RHS monthly publication for members) and Kitchen Garden magazine, amongst others.

Gerry has developed a garden design and fruit related business, and his website is www.gerryedwardsgardenservices.co.uk, a man of many talents!

Do enjoy this excellent read and reference book, which I hope will encourage many to enjoy our hobby, there is nothing better. David Allison, editor.

To purchase please contact David Allison, 18 Sandholme Drive, Burley in Wharfdale, Ilkley, LS29 7RQ or your Branch Secretary - Cost £3.99 plus £2.00 P&P. Cheques payable to “The National Vegetable Society"

Getting started Cooking with Vegetables

Welcome to this, the fourth in our series of “Getting Started” books. Sandra our author has a lifetime’s experience in the catering industry, catering for over 4,000 students on a daily basis, so there’s no one better qualified to  put together her favourite recipes using vegetables as the main ingredient.

We are delighted that she has agreed to share this knowledge and passion with us, to enable this book to be published. Quite a number of the recipes have been extracted from previous issues of “Simply Vegetables”, our members quarterly magazine, these having been originally sent to us by Mary Thomas and Linda Hargrave. We are indebted to them also for sharing their love of cooking with us.

All the recipes are simple to follow, and enable the reader to enjoy the fruits of their labour. As a keen vegetable grower, I hate waste and am continually looking for  new  recipes to enjoy eating what I grow, and now need look no further!!

More information on the National Vegetable Society can be found on our website www.nvsuk.org.uk , details on the inside front cover of this book.

Do enjoy this excellent reference book, which I hope will encourage many of you to be a little more adventurous in the ways we all eat our vegetables. David Allison FNVS editor

And now a bit about our author and compiler Sandra in her own words:

"I am a dairy farmer’s daughter from Herefordshire, growing up on the land, so perhaps that is where the interest started. I am married, to a keen gardener with three children and three grand children. I have worked in the hospitality and food industry for over forty years, working in hotels, restaurants bars and schools. I am currently working in the catering department at Harper Adams University in Shropshire. Agricultural, veterinary, land and rural affairs based studies, where we cater for over 4,000 students from 6am till 10pm daily seven days a week along with three cafes, a fifty seater restaurant and large and small conferences from a centralised kitchen.

My role is procurement, to source our food sustainably, along with marketing and merchandising. So we know where our food comes from, food miles are very important to us, how fresh it is etc, at the best prices. To advertise and make this known on our menus, for which we have won many awards.  Also working with the Food Standards Agency to promote good working practices are maintained.   

I have been a member of the National Vegetable Society for over thirty years now, working at all levels and currently hold the position of Chairwoman of the Midlands Branch and hopefully I can build on the ethos of sustainability with ‘Growing your own’, all vegetables grown whether large or small, round or square can all be eaten, raw or cooked.

My hobbies include cycling, swimming, reading along with baking and jam and chutney making. It’s so good to work with fruit and vegetables straight from the garden, a wonderful feeling you know exactly what you are eating, no additives, preservatives etc.

Enjoy the book, Sandra Hall FNVS"

86 pages of 100s of recipes, 10 chapters covering Preserves, Pickles etc., Soups, Salads, Desserts, Cakes and biscuits, and everything else!!

To purchase please contact David Allison, 18 Sandholme Drive, Burley in Wharfdale, Ilkley, LS29 7RQ or your Branch Secretary - Cost £5.99 plus £2.00 P&P. Cheques payable to “The National Vegetable Society"