Our wonderful Warren County Fair (Iowa), now in its 158th year, is underway and I entered vegetables and flowers this year. I was most nervous about the flowers, because I had never entered before. Here are photos and captions with some tips.
This was my assortment of flower entries, plus basil. The fair provides the glass vases, so you just have to get the flowers to the fair without crushing or breaking them.
The pink phlox won; the medium dahlias and basil were second.
Competition was tough in the daylilies, and my entries did not place. I learned good tips (you really need two flowers blooming on the day of judging, plus lots of unopened buds).
Three of my glads got blue ribbons and one got a red. Only one other person entered, which was disappointing. We had a champion glad grower in the county, but he moved to Colorado. Glads should have at least seven blooms and one-third of the plant unopened.
These were my vegetable and fruit entries. The butternut squash are not totally ripe, but you take the produce at the stage it's in. I will still eat these.
My entry in the Largest Cabbage category is weighed (12 pounds). I placed second out of three, and might have won the class if I hadn't trimmed the outer leaves. Even if they are full of insect holes, it doesn't matter in this class.
There were 10 entries in the Giant Squash competition. My zucchini was third.
The judge took the longest time deciding the red potato winner (my husband, Bob). I placed second. Bob tills the garden and provides all the sheep compost, so he enters a few things.
I won the white onion class, but did not place in yellow onions. The key with onions is DRYNESS, not size. Pull them weeks before the fair so they can dry out completely. The judge eliminates any onions that have even a tiny bit of moisture in the tops.
The Largest Potato contest was stiff. My red potato is being weighed (17 ounces). Bob's white potato (directly above) won at 17.2 ounces.
It was another great year at the fair!