I was very happy with the way the Masterclass on Vegetables went last weekend, it was very well attended, the speakers were all excellent and the hotel arrangements, including staff and food, were top class. One of the first speakers on Saturday morning was supposed to be Marcus Powell who sadly had to pull out, however he was replaced by two very able exhibitors in John Branham and Jim Thompson who gave an excellent practical talk on the judging of vegetables.
I am really indebted to these two for the effort they put into staging two collections at very short notice, one marked ‘A’ and the other ‘B’. The collections were nine kinds two of each. The purpose of the exercise was to get all the audience involved in judging them. As the room was much too small, and with time being limited, John decided to that the two of them plus myself would pre judge the exhibits and then NVS judging sheets and pens were given to everyone to judge them.
In order to give them audience the best possible way to judge them without handling the exhibits, we decided which exhibit was the highest pointed and all the others were then held up and comments made about them such as the meritorious elements as well as the faults. Having gone through all the exhibits most of the audience got exhibit ‘A’ first which was helpful! Two actually had the same points as we had for the winning collection. This was by no means accurate but it did give the audience a feel for judging and everyone seemed to have enjoyed it. Considering that it was November the quality of the produce was superb with many of them supplied by different growers in the audience.
I am already at the planning stage for next year’s Masterclass which will be held on the 2nd to the 4th of November at the Royal Victoria Hotel Llanberis at the base of Snowdon. Currently I have a talk planned on Tomato breeding, Nano technology and how it can be used to get better vegetables, shallots, Pot Leeks, Potatoes and Chilis/ Peppers. Contact me if you are interested and I will send you details early Summer next year – God willing!! there is a great article on my last weekend in the NVS Simply Vegetables magazine this coming January written by Michael Osborn of the Lancashire District Association.