Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Very Highly Commended!!!!

We got the results of the Trafford Allotment Judging today, our site, Moss View in Partington has again got several plots who have been deemed worthy of mention, 4 plots have received a Commended (the basic notice that the judges liked their plot), 5 plots have received a Highly Commended (a certificate, a mention at the Gardeners Evening, and basically means you impressed the judges with the condition of your plot and had at least some great looking crops) and 2 plots received a Very Highly Commended! (A certificate and framed photograph of your plot which is presented to you by the Mayor at the Gardeners Evening, where you have your piccy taken for the local paper, it generally means your plot was very well presented, and you impressed the judges with the variety and quality of the crops you were growing!)

After 4 years of having the plots (and never even getting a commended certificate) we decided this year that we'd ensure we did everything possible (short of bribing the judges) to get at least a commended certificate (as those who read the blog will no doubt know by now), so imagine our delight when Pat rang us this evening to tell us that she'd just got the results...... and our 2 plots had both been voted as Very Highly Commended!!

We're both cock a hoop about the results, neither of us thought we'd ever get one plot to a VHC condition, let alone both of them! Pat and Colin both got a Highly Commended for their 2 plots, so I guess we're going to be buying the drinks at the Gardeners Evening! To be honest we didnt think (with our home made wonky  heath robinson hothouse and a few other bits n bobs that we've recycled for use on the plots) that we'd actually get a certificate, so I guess its a signal that they are becoming more open to folks using their initiative and reusing / reworking things on their plots!

Award winning Plot 1

Our Award winning Plot 2, good job they dont judge it now, with all the rain we've got too many weeds to win even a commended! Lol!

Well, finally we get a day off, and the weather doesnt look too great, but having spoken to Pat and Colin we decided we'd chance it and see whether we could get the bee inspections done today, leaving tomorrow (with a better forecast) to do some harvesting and planting / weeding on the plots!

The inspections went well, Sarah (Pat and Colins daughter) got stung (again) within 30 seconds of opening Hive 1 (living up to their nick name of Psycho), Hive 2 had 2 capped queen cells (which we unfortunately had to remove), but apart from that everything was fine. The wet and windy weather of late has meant though that our bees havent been able to get out to forage as much as we'd have liked, so there wasnt any more honey ready for harvesting yet, but hopefully there will be in a few more weeks!

I managed to get a few piccies of some of the crops for the blog, but as we didnt finish the bee inspections until late (and then had a late lunch sat outside Pat and Colin's shed) we decided we'd spend tomorrow harvesting and weeding!

One thing we did decide to harvest though, was our first ripe tomato!!

 There's plenty of tomato fruit in both of the greenhouses (and the polytunnel), but only a few that are beginning to ripen at the plot, though we do have some in the hanging baskets at home that are also almost ready! (And a lot more that are still growing, both in the back yard greenhouse and outside in the back yard itself)
.The other side of the main greenhouse!

The aubergines in the wonky homemade hothouse have now set fruit, we've 4 small fuits on them at the moment, this one being the largest!

And this one being the smallest! There's also a lot of peppers getting bigger in there too, and a fair number of chillies too! Looks like it may be a good year for greenhouse crops!

The brassicas are also still doing well, we've lost a couple to club root, but none (yet) to caterpillars (the debris netting seems to be working well), and the first couple of heads of broccolli are looking good! This one is about the size of a large cooking apple.......

............... and this one about the size of a tennis ball!

The sprout plants are just starting to produce baby sprouts, so hopefully (like last year) there should be plenty of our Yule feast this year!

The beanery on Plot 1 is also looking good, a few weeds that need sorting (hopefully tomorrow), but plenty of forthcoming crops if looks are anything to go by!

The borlotti beans are beginning to pod up now, with a load more flowers, so hopefully there will be a good crop of them this year!

The early planted runners are going great guns now, plenty of flowers and lots of small runner bean pods forming, we think we'll be harvesting them soon now!

The dwarf french beans are still producing like mad! These Tendergreen pods have a lovely purple marking and are delicious with no stringyness that we have found on cooking!

These are Delinel Dwarf French Beans, and are fantastic slim pencil sized pods of stringless tasty beans, another heavy cropper!

The sweetcorn have now topped 6'6", and are filling out nicely, I have a feeling we may have a good year with these this year, the underplanting of pumpkins and squashes are also looking good for crops!

One of the 2 largest Butternut squashes! Hopefully there will be plenty like this, I love roast squash mixed in with roasted winter veg, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of garlic and herbs and slow roasted in the oven!

The pond area has come on really well! Needs a few weeds pulling out, but its looking good!

Our sunflowers are also starting to flower, the tallest are almost to 7' without having the flowers open, so we've no idea how tall they are going to end up!

And finally, the grapes! There's lots of bunches on the vine, so we're thinking of pruning out the smaller bunches to ensure that the rest of them fill out and ripen properly (as last year we didnt have them all ripen)

Hope your crops are growing well, your sites appreciate your efforts and your harvests are bumper ones!

Thanks for reading, harvest and balance update hopefully tomorrow!


The Idiot said...

Congratulations on your certificate.

It must make all the hard work worthwhile, plus you get to ponce about with the Mayor, which is a bonus!

Mrs Dobby said...

Thanks IG!

Lol, ponce around with the mayor? Lee is already saying hes going to go to the Gardeners evening in his cowboy hat and try n outbling the mayor, either that or hes going to give the mayor bunny rabbit ears on the piccy!

BilboWaggins said...

Many congratulations - extremely well deserved.

Mrs Dobby said...

Thanks Bilbo!

Green Jeannie said...

Really sorry I have been so remiss in commenting on your lovely blog.

Life got in the way just lately! I have not forgotten you I promise.

Ok, first of all many congrats on your excellent achievement with the awards! Well deserved too, from what I can see in these photos.

We have some form of judging but being new to it all, I have no idea when it happens, the rain has meant lots and lots of weeds, which I have valiantly been trying to dig up the past few days!

Thank you for sharing all your lovely pics, and well done!

Green Jeannie

Mrs Dobby said...

Hi Jeannie, no problem, thanks for commenting anyhows, I've been mega busy at work myself, so havent been posting as much as I'd like to anyhows!

I know what you mean re the rain and weeds, ever since they put the hosepipe ban in place all its done is rain, which always means weed seeds will germinate, and as the ground is too wet to hoe, the only way to remove them is by hand! Working full time thats almost impossible, so our plots are definitely weedy atm!

Thanks for the congrats re the VHC, its appreciayed! Mind you, Im glad the judging is over, if they came round now we'd get nowt with all the weeds!

Having said that tho, the judging isnt the reason we GYO, its nice to be acknowledged for having a decent couple of plots, but even if there were no judging, we'd be growing our own fruit n veg, enjoying the contact with nature, the fresh air and friendship with other plotholder, plus of course doing our bit to reduce our food miles, and of course the main reason to GYO..... to enjoy fabulous tasty fresh organic fruit and veg!