Thursday, August 23, 2012

Waushara County Fair 2012 Vegetable Round Up

(This is the Open Class winner for best garden box.)

Each year I go to the county fair and take special note of those vegetables which the judges award blue ribbons.

Last year, 'Celebrity' tomatoes were hands down the big winner in a wet and cool summer. This year, nary a single plate of 'Celebrity' showed up. I think I know why. They may like it cool and wet, but in hot dry conditions they are subject to cracking shoulders and blossom end rot. Oh, I know the blossom end rot thing has to do with seedling's tiny root hairs drying out and thus limiting the uptake of calcium; however, I feel some tomatoes are just prone to that. Meanwhile, in the family garden, the heirloom 'Olpaka' keeps on keeping on. This is the bread and butter, the meat and potatoes, of all our summer sauces, salsas, and sun-dried tomatoes. It is a Roma-style tomato and has done well in hot (that should be underscored and bolded) and dry years. And, last year while we prepared to be swept away by flood did equally as well.

This year's red tomato county fair winner was 'Big Beef'.

I try and make special note of any winners of vegetable I don't grow that maybe I should or vegetable varieties which I seem to have a hard time growing. Onions is one of these I can't seem to get to any size, no matter how much research into day length varieties I do and best onions for our area. It seems the winners jump around from year to year, too.

This year the blue ribbon in Open Class went to 'Savannah Sweet', a short day variety. Now, I'm clueless, because supposedly we are supposed to be growing long day varieties here in central Wisconsin.

I entered the summer squash category and mine got 4th. Getting a ribbon of any type in Open Class is all good. The winner and I both grew the same variety to the same size, but mine growing where I grow them, always have these bumps, obviously the winner should not.

This is one entry that totally amazed me. I didn't think 'Hungarian Wax' peppers turned red.

This year, was, I think, a poor year for sweet corn.

The winner was 'Ambrosia'.

There was no amaranth or edamame on display. No one entered any blue potatoes, which have done so well for us in the family garden, as to make my brother comment we should skip the white potatoes because of their attraction for the Colorado potato beetles, versus the blue ones which were nearly pest free in our non-pesticidal, no Spinosad garden.

No one ventured too far outside the "garden box" to enter golden beets or seedless grapes (We grow 'Reliance'.)

The two grand champions of the vegetables this year were a humongous watermelon and in a year where I have heard garlic did poorly from many people, this plate of garlic.

Tomorrow, I review what was in those garden boxes; what is supposedly the best variety and specimens your garden has to offer.

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