The National Vegetable Society

On what was a miserable looking Sunday afternoon, it was perhaps best to be indoors rather than out! 

Emily and her family are members of the National Vegetable Society (NVS), and their knowledge of and passion for growing means they all play a key part in making the society what it is. I’ve also been a member for the last couple of years or so.

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The NVS is a national society to bring people who share the hobby of gardening together. Although (as you can probably guess from the name) it mainly focuses on growing vegetables – whether that’s learning from scratch (like me), or sharing your experiences with other members of what has or hasn’t worked in your garden (or allotment) – there are also other types of growing covered, such as dahlias, chrysanthemums and fruit. It’s also a society for showing/exhibiting vegetables (if you want to) – something which The Plumbs have had a lot of success with over the years!

The NVS is split into five branches (Southern, Midlands, Northern, Welsh and Scottish), each of which have a number of District Associations (DAs). These DAs are local groups which bring together members in that area, albeit you are more than welcome to attend other DA events if you are interested and willing to travel. Our local DA is the Essex DA, which holds several meetings at Hatfield Peverel Village Hall each year, usually with a speaker. Today’s speaker was Emily’s mum, Sherie! With a turnout of around 50 people, we were told about a year in the ‘Plumb’ garden – something I’ve been able to see and enjoy first-hand for some time now!

As well as the talk, the two of us had our own usual jobs – Emily was on the door meeting and greeting visitors and I was in charge of seed potatoes, as well as broad and runner bean seeds and some other bits and pieces (all related to growing, of course!)

There was also the raffle, and last but not least the tea and snacks (including my favourite – the quiche!) All of the above helps to cover the cost of the day and to keep the DA going.

The next meeting is on Sunday 13 May at the same venue, where Dave Gillam will be giving a presentation on growing dahlias for exhibition. Although NVS membership affords you free entry to the DA meetings, non-members are also very welcome at a modest £2 per head.

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