13 Oct National Vegetable Society Seminar
NVS Scottish Branch Autumn Seminar – November, 2018
Another eventful NATIONAL VEGETABLE SOCIETY SCOTTISH BRANCH late autumn Seminar at Pentlands Science Park south of Edinburgh on Saturday was well worth attending and the weather was kinder than in some years when snow had left me wondering if I’d get home. IAN STOCKS, National Vice Chairman, welcomed a full house of time-served vegetable growers (Photo 2), introduced the new National Chairwoman SANDRA HALL, and Ian’s summary message for the day was “Enjoy Yourself”. GEORGE ANDERSON, of Beechgrove Gardens , started proceedings with his excellent and entertaining presentation “In front of the lens” (Photo 3). He tells us Beechgrove is in its 40th year, with 25 years filming at the present site and George started with them then, when they moved out of Aberdeen. We learned a lot about George as a lifelong gardener with years of experience also as trainer with the likes of the Royal Horticultural Society and Royal Botanics pre (and during) his TV days.
NVS Secretary FIONA SHENFLIED then went through the SCOTTISH and NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS for 2018 and what an impressive array of healthy vegetables were shown in the winning photographs (Photo 4). This clearly entailed a lot of hard work and it all came across as very well organised with an impressive band of competitors all eager and dedicated to getting their chosen class “tickets”.
During tea-breaks and lunch I joined other stand holders where I was selling 10kg REMIN bags via PREMIER HYROPONICS who are REMIN stockists in Dundee and Edinburgh. Sales were brisk, and it is always SO encouraging to hear the different ways that NVS members enjoy the benefits of REMIN. As per (Photo 5) it was excellent to catch up with NATIONAL POT LEEK SOCIETY Members whose success with REMIN continues to grow after their testimonial . It was good to hear that the 3 REMIN pallets they took for their Annual Event in the Louisa Centre, Stanley, Co. Durham sold out on the day – clearly better sales people than me! There was also an interesting story from a “David and Michael” (easy for me to remember as these are names of my 2 dear brothers!) from KINGUSSIE who have been composting very successfully with REMIN – I must find out more!
After a fine lunch and a good network session for all, NEIL DRUMMOND stepped up to chair for the afternoon introducing JIM PEARSON to give his talk on how he perfected the art of growing SHALLOTS and this from a standing start (Photo 1). Honestly the detail these lads go into to get the competitive edge in their class is amazing to hear. Then there is the good wit and humour woven into the very fabric of demanding outdoor work in Scotland – as illustrated by Jim’s talk title: “Thanks Shallot” to be said in Sir Sean Connery’s own brogue of course….
ESTABAN PLA of GROWMAX WATER had come all the way from Barcelona gave a talk on his company’s water filtration system (Photo 6). This was another reminder of how much has happened to our soil in our generation. It used to be all plants needed was tap water but after a few decades of treating the soils with chemicals this is no longer the case. His 10 good reasons why it makes sense to take the added chlorine out of water, thus reducing the water’s conductivity, all was logical and there is little doubt Estaban was bringing in the results to prove their system does work. I have long wished to get REMIN more involved in hydroponic growing, so I must follow up!
ALASTAIR GRAY completed the talks – this time on the POTATO and how to grow them for exhibitions (Photo 7). The attention to detail paid by Alastair and his wife was exceptional – and the advice all freely shared, with no signs of wanting to protect any trade secrets he had so finely honed!
After a group photo of prize winners, (Photo 8) and a very generous raffle that left me wishing I had found the raffle ticket seller (!), it was off to the train very pleased to have witnessed another year where the National Vegetable Society continues to grow and to know that REMIN is there on their radar.