The Snarky Gardener entered his vegetables in the local county fair. Now the Snarky Girlfriend will never hear the end of it.
A little while back, the Snarky Girlfriend picked up this year’s Portage County Randolph Ohio fair book. She thought it would be cool for us to enter some items just for fun. She had some photos she wanted to enter, including one of my dog River. According to the rules, our entry forms had to be in by 8/5 even though the entries needed to be onsite when the fair started two weeks later. Telling the future is hard with garden produce, though I did have the option to enter and then just not have them. Going with a conservative first-timer approach, I perused the book, looking for viable vegetable categories.
Vegetables not quite ready for the big show:
1. Tomatoes and peppers – behind all year with cool wet weather
2. Corn – a few weeks off, not sure they would be ready by then
3. Beans – they wanted a quart of beans and I didn’t have that many.
4. Swiss chard – would rather eat it then enter it
5. Carrots – not enough and/or too small
1. Red potatoes – Red Chieftain
2. Golden potatoes – Yukon Golds
3. Kale – Red Russian
4. Turnips – Purple Top
5. Zucchini Under 10 inches- Sure Thing from Burpee
We dropped them off on Sunday 8/17, the day before the first day of the fair. Right away I realized something was amiss. People with kale and Swiss chard were using jars of water to keep them hydrated. The fair book said to do this, but somehow I didn’t pick up on it (oh well – lesson learned). On the plus side, we didn’t see any other turnip entries, so I knew I had a good chance of winning something in that category. The turnips I entered were far from perfect, as they had pits and marks on them. From the Internet articles I read after the fact, fair entered vegetables should all be little clones of each other and as close to retail sale quality as possible.
On Thursday (a long 4 days later), we attended the fair with some friends to see how I did (at least that’s how I saw it). They seemed to be interested in other things first, like seeing the Snarky Girlfriend’s pictures (she won a second place ribbon for a flower picture), and eating fair food. Finally we arrived at my vegetables and lo and behold, some had ribbons! Two firsts and a second (yeah). My red potatoes didn’t win (3rd place out of 3) as they were noticeable smaller and less uniform than the other competing entries. But my Yukon Golds won second place (out of 4) – not bad at all. My sad turnips garnered a first place ribbon as they had no competition. But the topper was my zucchini which earned 1st place out of five. Mine seemed to look the most like the ones you see at the grocery store. Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to spend all the prize money on. I wonder what I can purchase for $5.50?