The vegetable show was the big attraction at the Warren County Fair last night. No it wasn't -- that was the figure eight races. But there were some anxious moments as judge Barb Osborn, Iowa State University, placed the top three entries in white and red potatoes. My red potatoes won the class! Whew.
Here are tips on showing veggies.
Never let your zucchini get this big unless you are entering a giant zucchini contest. MIne weighed 4 pounds, 4 ounces and placed third out of five.
The ideal zucchini size for show is 8 inches long, uniform width and color with no blemishes. The plate third from bottom won this class easily. I placed third.
You can see the beets in the background. My beets were smaller, golfball-sized, and won the class. Large beets can be woody.
The key to onions is not size as much as condition. Pull onions two weeks before show time and let them cure. If the stems aren't dry at the show they won't do well. The largest onions here did not place because their stems were green and wet. My plate (bottom middle) placed third. They were very small, but dry.
I won the largest potato contest for the second year in a row with this 10-ounce spud, but it was nothing compared to last year's giant at 1 pound, 1 ounce.
I also won with my red cabbage and peaches. A key to cabbage is keeping a few outer leaves for display, as long as they don't have insect damage . Size matters, but one cabbage was so big it split -- a no-no.
Good luck at the fair!