Monday, October 4, 2021

Harvest Monday - 4 October 2021 - Blue Ribbon Edition Part V

Since 1876, the Deerfield Fair has been our region's most prominent agricultural exposition. That means it was held through two world wars and the devastating flu pandemic in 1918. But COVID shut it down last year. That fact amazes me. We really are living through an historic time. 

The fair restarted this year, on the last weekend of September as always. And again we put some of our vegetables and canned goods on display, and maybe win prizes!

I submitted seven entries. Here they are, along with the numbers required and my predictions for success.

Vegetable fair entries

From top:
  • Spaghetti squash (2) - Prediction: red (2nd place) as they are not completely size consistent. Var: Sugaretti
  • Yellow Onions (5) - Prediction: red, as they are not huge, and I accidentally peeled off a little too much of the outer skins. Var: Talon
  • Other Onions (5) -  I put my shallots in this category. Prediction: red, as I discovered one of them was actually a twin. Var: Ambition
  • Peppers, hot yellow (5) - Prediction: blue (1st place). Var: Hot Lemon
  • Peppers, hot red (5) - Prediction: blue. Var: Cayenne
  • Peppers, sweet red (5) - Prediction: blue. Var: Biquinho Red
  • Peppers: sweet yellow (5) - Prediction: blue. Var: Biquinho Yellow
The Kitchen Goddess entered 7 canned goods.

Canned goods fair entries
From left:
  • Bloody Mary Mix
  • Stewed Tomatoes
  • Salsa
  • Apple Pie Filling
  • Apple Sauce
  • Pickled Pepperoncini
  • Pickled Red Onions
She doesn't make predictions, but I always predict a clean blue sweep for her.

She once again made a scarecrow for the Scarecrow Contest. You have to incorporate at least 5 vegetables or fruits. Since the theme of the fair this year was "Flock Back to the Fair," she made vegetable birds to adorn the lady, named "Ro-bird-a." I really like the "Love-Lies-Bleeding" amaranth dreadlocks, and the kale shoes.

"Ro-bird-a" scarecrow contest entry

Tuesday we brought up the entries, judging took place on Wednesday, and we went to the fair on Thursday, its opening day. We always have lots of fun looking at the farm animals and displays. So how did we do?

  • Spaghetti squash - blue
  • Yellow onions - blue
  • Shallots - white. actually that's not bad, since I mistakenly entered them in the wrong category (shallots had their own specific one). The judge also wrote "uniformity" on the tag
  • Hot Yellow Peppers - blue
  • Hot Red Peppers - red. Not sure why they were graded down.
  • Sweet Red Peppers - blue
  • Sweet Yellow Peppers - white. Ouch! What happened? Well, by the time I saw them after the judging they did not look too fresh. Maybe damaged in transport?
So that's 4 blues, 1 red, and 2 whites. Not great, but not bad year better!

TKG's canned goods did well in my opinion, but not hers. 
  • Bloody Mary Mix - red
  • Stewed Tomatoes - blue
  • Salsa - blue
  • Apple Pie Filling - blue
  • Apple Sauce - blue
  • Pepperoncini - red
  • Pickled Red Onions - red
She won 4 blues and 3 reds. She was not happy, but she's a lot more competitive than I am.

For the scarecrow, after several years of 4th place, she got 2nd place this year! It comes with a $90 cash prize. That means we totaled $141.50 this year, which helps offset the cost of seeds and supplies for next year. But the fun factor is the greatest reward.

And we thus got more ribbons to add to the Eight Gate Farm Wall Of Respect (in the laundry room).

Ribbon haul

But enough showboating, here are harvests this week. There were no "first harvests of the season" but continuing ones are still trickling in.

Monday's tomato picking:

Monday tomato harvest

Monday's everything-else harvest:

Monday non-tomato harvest

Friday's tomato picking:

Friday tomato harvest

Friday's everything-else harvest. Smaller, but still colorful.

Friday non-tomato harvest

Raspberries are still giving us great joy. This particular picking weighed over 1.25 pounds.

Fall raspberries

For "preserving the harvest,"we smoked all the paprika peppers and made a nice quantity of fragrant smoked paprika.

Smoked paprika

We took all the accumulated cayenne peppers...

Cayennes prior to smoking and drying

...and made 1.75 ounces of cayenne powder. It too is very aromatic but made me sneeze when grinding!

Cayenne powder

Once again, I encourage you to enter your "farm goods" in any local fair you may have. It is so much fun regardless of what and how much you win. Thanks for reading. I'm sure that future posts will not be this long! Please join me in thanking Dave at for hosting Harvest Monday

1 comment:

  1. I love the scarecrow! Your peppers look great too. Here's hoping you bring home the blue ribbons.

    We are truly living in historic times, and I for one would have been happy not to be doing so!