Hot News

This website is constantly under revision and new pages and updates will be added as circumstances dictate.

Please note that this website is now being updated on a desktop device with a 20" screen using Mozilla Firefox as the browser.  It is possible that the appearance of each page may look slightly different on devices with smaller screens, or if viewed with another browser such as Internet Explorer or Google Chrome

What's Happening ?     Last Updated: Tuesday 10th December 2019



Our last meeting of 2019 was held on Monday 24th November 2019 when David Allison talked about New Innovations and breeding of Fruit and Vegetables. David is a member of the RHS Fruit, Vegetable and Herb Committee which gives him access to trial sites and commercial plant breeders not available to the average grower and his talk was designed to highlight some of the new varieties and emerging changes taking place.

Prime Ark 45 is a superior-cropping blackberry to Reuben and Black Cascade is a suitable variety for hanging baskets.  Polar Bear is a white blackberry possessing a slight lemony-pineapple flavour with a two-year or floricane fruiting cycle. However, the fruits do not last long after picking.

Livingstone rhubarb has been bred to remove the summer dormancy gene which allows for an extra six weeks or so of cropping. Poulton's Red is similar to Poulton's Pride but with less of the characteristic rhubarb sharpness which means that little or no sugar needs to be added in the cooking process.

New strawberries include Grandee, Maxim and Sweet Colossus.  Snow White and Pineberry are white  cultivars with a pineapple-like flavor, white colouring and red seeds.  Used florists' buckets, which you can buy cheaply from supermarkets, have a rounded lip compared to the sharp edge of conventional plastic pots and avoid cutting into strawberry runner stems if growing in a cascade style.  Toscana, Fragoo Hot Pink and Fragoo Rose are everbearing varieties which will provide fruit up until the first frosts arrive.  Malling Centenary is set to become the dominant new strawberry variety grown commercially with runners bought in each season from specialist suppliers of ''misted tips" held in chilled storage and then allowed to root in small pots before planting out in rockwool beds.  Bumblebees are often bought and introduced in to the greenhouses or tunnels in order to improve pollination and crop production.

Framberry or Strasberry is a strawberry and raspberry cross which looks like a raspberry but grows like a strawberry. Mieze Schindler is the first named variety.  Charlotte Russe is an edible mulberry which is self-pollinating, dwarf and highly compact and crops in the year after rooting.

Polka is a primocane raspberry which will crop in Autumn up until November, All Gold is a yellow primocane variety while Valentina is a floricane variety which is orange-coloured and bears fruit in its second year of growth.  Glen Coe is a purple raspberry while Black Jewel is almost pure black in colour.

Turning to other fruit, Malling Centenary is the latest home-grown variety of strawberry with large sweet-tasting berries which is set to replace many of the imported and somewhat tasteless varieties found on the supermarket shelf.  The Red Love range of apple cultivars possess pink-coloured flesh while Surprize combines bright orange skin with pink-marbled flesh. The flesh of Eden does not oxidise to a brown colour when the flesh is cut so it is good for dishes such as fruit salads.  Honeycrisp has been bred to combine tartness, sweetness and crispness with a distinct fizz.  Interspecific crops of plum and apricot such as Aprium (apricot dominant) and Pluot (plum dominant) really need the protection afforded by a polytunnel for success.  Avalon Pride shows good resistance to peach leaf curl and Peche de Vigne has blood-red coloured flesh.  Blueberrries are available in other colours with  Pink Lemonade and Pink Champagne being two such examples.  Brown Turkey figs have a maroon flesh whereas White Marseilles has white/pale green flesh.  The apple-sized melon Pepino Trio has a mild fruity taste, like a cross between melon and pear, with a slight freshness of cucumber.  The kiwi fruit variety Issai is self-fertile  and produces  small, hairless fruit with a smooth, edible skin.

Turning to vegetables, the 'egg and chip' plant (aubergine grafted on to a potato plant) has been around for a few years. David's experience with this plant has been great for aubergines but very poor for potatoes1 Aubergines are now available in a range of colours but they all need a long growing season and benefit from early heat when sown in February.

The so-called 'black' tomatoes such as Black Jewel are really deep purple although they take a long time to develop their full colour. This variety has a very high level of lycopene which is a carotenoid pigment with antioxidant properties and beneficial to our health.

The long-pointed variety of carrot SS (developed by Select Seeds) looks set to rival the best of the New Red Intermediate strains currently available and Discovery is the latest celery variety to attract attention on the show bench.

Unlike the normal white varieties, coloured cauliflower varieties such Graffiti (purple) Sunset (orange), Trevi (green) do not need protection from sunlight to develop their curds.  Cornell and Fairway are two new promising white show varieties and Clapton, like the new cabbage Killaxy, is said to be club root-resistant.

Spring Blush is a unique, tall-growing, high yielding pea with attractive bi-coloured purple/pink blooms and lots of rose-blushed and pure green pods. It can be picked as mangetout or snap pods and the plants also produce loads of hyper-tendrils which are equally delicious to eat.

Kohlrabi variety Vienna comes in both white and purple-bodied forms.  Supermeltz can grow to the size of a football.

Runner Bean Firestorm is a cross between a runner bean and a french bean. It is red-flowered, self-fertile and will set well in cold weather.  Moonlight is a new white-flowered variety which will also set well in cold weather.

Radish Bacchus is a new deep-red, round variety and Giant Butter will grow to the size of a tennis ball

Kalettes (formerly known as Flower Sprouts or Brusselkale) are a hybrid plant brand name for kale sprouts. Bred using traditional breeding techniques, they are a cross between kale and Brussels sprouts. The plant is touted as being a highly-nutritious vegetable which may be eaten raw or cooked.

Sarpo Mira was the first maincrop  potato to be bred with late-blight resistance.  As well as its ability to shrug off even the worst blight, Crimson Crush and its cousins Cocktail Crush and Mountain Magic will provide great yields of exceptionally fine-tasting, large, round tomatoes 

Santero is a superb early maincrop onion with excellent resistance to downy mildew.  


Upcoming Dates For Your Diary

Worklink Christmas Fayre - Eppleworth Road, Cottingham on Monday 9th December 2019 from 10am till 2pm

East Yorkshire DA Show 2020 is provisionally planned for Sunday 27th September 2020


The final Committee meeting of the year was held on Tuesday 12th November to review the 2019 Show and to prepare for the AGM in January 2020. A number of the existing Committee members will be standing down at the AGM and we will be looking to recruit their replacements.  Please note that, under the NVS constitution, all Committee members (as well as any AGM attendees wishing to vote) must be subscribed members of NVS.


NVS subscriptions for 2020 are now payable, either online using Paypal via the NVS website, or by post using the renewal form enclosed with the Autumn edition of Simply VegetablesWe plan to have an information stand at future meetings which will also feature NVS application forms for those of our audience members who wish to join but have not yet done so.  Alternatively, you can download an application form here  and, when completed, post it to - Judith Park, Northern Branch Membership Secretary, Three Oaks. Ambleside Road, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1EU .


What you are wondering in December

Am I able and willing to become a Committee Member at the upcoming AGM? 

In 2020, will I be trying some of the new varieties of fruit and vegetables mentioned by David Allison ?

Will the inclusion of admission to Newby Hall and Gardens within the Harrogate Aurumn Show ticket price encourage me to visit this new venue in 2020 ?


I have updated Local Shows 2019/20 page as far as I am able. I have added 2019 dates for key events, where they are known, but if anyone wishes their Show dates to be advertised on this website page then please contact me in person, through the webmaster email link shown on the Home Page, the Guestbook link,  phone, or even drop me an old-fashioned note through the post. 

The dates and venues of some regional dahlia and chrysanthemum shows can be seen here.  


Those of you on Facebook will no doubt be familiar with Giantveg blog postings. They have produced a number of instructional video clips and you can access them all via their website here. They may also be able to supply seeds for purchase. 

West Yorkshire DA, Mires Beck Nursery and North Ferriby Horticultural Society also have dedicated Facebook pages.

There is also a new Facebook Group Show Vegetables and Flowers for the Dedicated Exhibitor which has been set up for serious vegetable and flower exhibitors. A video showing the lifecycle stages of growing an 18lb onion can be seen here.

Advice on growing seed potatoes courtesy of JBA Seed Potatoes can be seen here.


There are a number of organisations, including Marshalls, DT Brown and Dobies, which offer discount to NVS members. Full details from here.


Please note the following change to the car parking system at Beverley Conservative Club where we hold our monthly meetings. Those of you who have attended recently will know that the entrance barrier to the car park has been changed to a pay-and-display system; the current cost is £2.50 for a ticket which covers three hours. The car park is now open to the general public. Until now we have been able to redeem our tickets against the cost of drinks at the bar, but  the Club has now decided that only paid-up Club members will be able to redeem their car-park tickets at the bar. EYDA has a general membership which allows us to book the room but this does not extend to NVS members or other guests. So, from 2nd January 2019, you will not be able to redeem the cost of your car parking ticket,unless you decide to join the Conservative Club as a member in your own right. The cost of this is £25.00/annum if paid in January – late payment incurs penalties. Should you wish to pursue personal membership for next year then the Club number to contact is 01482 867968. However, after 6.00 pm, free roadside parking is available in Beverley Market Place and on North Bar Within and North Bar Without which is, arguably, not too far to walk if you are able or wish to avoid the Club's car parking charge. 

Beverley Conservative Club has confirmed that non-Conservative Club members will be required to pay the car park charge which is the bar.  However, as a concession, they have agreed that those persons dropping off/picking up materials or passengers and who wish to avoid paying the car parking charge will be exempt from payment provided that they complete their activities in a timely fashion and do not park their vehicles for longer than is necessary. They suggest that New Walk, the road heading north from the Bar towards Molescroft, offers the closest free roadside parking opportunities.


Those of you with access to Facebook might find this old footage of interest


Our next meeting will be held on Monday 27th January 2020 at the Conservative Club, Beverley commencing 7.30pm which will comprise our AGM plus a Quiz which will follow after the completion of the main business.

In the meantime, a Merry Christmas and happy catalogue reading until then.

Interesting article about potatoes in the The Guardian here.

Community Web Kit provided free by BT
Cookies and Privacy | Charity Number: 1088979