Monday, August 23, 2010

How Big is Your Zucchini?

This past weekend I picked up my ribbons from my Montgomery County Fair entries. Got 8 in total for 22 entries submitted. Not bad. Surprisingly, the one first place ribbon I earned was for the Aster category. I had submitted one of my New England Aster blooms. When I arrived at the fair check-in table, the aster flowers had curled into tight, little balls and were swooning in the hot, humid evening air. I did have them in water, but they still were wilted and looked awful. Since I'd come all that way, I decide why not enter them and hope they came back by judging time 36 hours later. Taking that chance paid off.

Another of the entries I submitted was far less successful. My cherry tomatoes did not win, place, or show. Nor did anyone get to eat and enjoy them as at the end of the Fair week they were infested with flies and I just had them composted. I think I'm giving up on this category and sticking with flowers for the next few years.

This weekend I have three events to attend and I hope you will join me for one, if not all three. The first is our 3rd annual Washington Gardener Magazine’s 3rd Annual Tomato Tasting. Saturday morning, we'll be at the FreshFarm Market in downtown Silver Spring, MD, asking folks to vote on their favorite tomato based on taste. Full details on the Tomato Taste were posted previously in our blog here.

The second is Saturday afternoon at the first annual DC State Fair in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of NW, WDC. This time I'm not entering anything, instead Washington Gardener Magazine is sponsoring the Biggest Vegetable categories. Read more about the DC State Fair here at their web site. "Biggest" being relative as one category is solely amongst container grown plants. I'm thinking for this first ever event, entries may be sparse so odds of winning are quite good. Start looking under leaves and picking up vines to find your biggest pumkin, zucchini, etc.

The third event is Riversdale House Museum's second annual Art of Cookery on Saturday evening. This event will include tours of the historic house and kitchen gardens, and a dinner buffet featuring recipes from the early 19th century that use produce grown in the gardens at Riversdale. Come out and explore this beautiful site, just 10 minutes outside DC in Rivesdale, MD. For ticket reservations and further information, call  301.864.0420.


~ Riversdale House has let me know the Art of Cookery event is now sold out. For those who miss it, I'll take photos and share them on our FaceBook page.

~  The DC State Fair organizers have written to say:
>>We'd like to encourage any gardeners with vegetable plots or container gardens to enter the contests--they have a good chance of walking away with a prize if they just take the time to enter. We also want to ensure that people know that these contests are open to DC residents only - there's no competition from the manicured tomatoes and giant squashes of the suburbs!

Here's the info on the veggie contests:

DC State Fair - August 28 - 11th and Irving Streets NW (Columbia Heights Day)

Funkiest-Looking Vegetable - Entry Drop-Off: 12:30-1PM - Judging: 2PM-2:30PM

Biggest Vegetable (Container Garden) - Entry Drop-Off: 1-2PM - Judging: 2:30PM-3PM

Biggest Vegetable (General) - Entry Drop-Off: 1-2PM - Judging: 2:30PM-3PM

Tastiest Tomato - Entry Drop-Off: 2:30-3:30PM - Judging: 4PM-4:30PM

Entry forms here: <<

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