Monday, October 3, 2022

Harvest Monday - 3 October 2022 - Blue Ribbon Edition Part VI

Hello again from Eight Gate Farm. It was the last weekend of September, which means time once again for The Deerfield Fair. 

The Fair, our area's largest agricultural exhibition, has been operating since 1876, with only one missed year, 2020, for obvious reasons. We love going, especially since it gives us an opportunity to show off our gardens' star products.

This year I entered 14 vegetables. You may think this is excessive, and it may be, but one person I saw had 30 entries. What's wrong with that?

Cutting right to the chase, I made the Top Ten vegetables for the second time, this time with my "Calypso" dry beans. I lost out on being Best In Show to a rather dowdy (to me) display of pole beans. No, I'm not bitter. Really.

Calypso beans made Top Ten

Here's the prize breakdown:

First Prize (8)
  • Dried Beans
  • Garlic
  • Hot Lemon Peppers
  • Habanero Peppers
  • Talon Onions
  • Neck Pumpkins
  • Autumn Frost Squash
  • Sugaretti Spaghetti Squash
Second Prize (5)
  • Thin Cayenne Peppers
  • Sugar Rush Peach Peppers
  • Blue Prince Pumpkins
  • Largest Single Zucchini
  • Red Marble Cippolini Onions
Third Prize (1)
  • Alisa Craig Exhibition Onions--not sure what the problem was here. They were very large and uniform. Maybe the judge didn't like their loose skins, which is a trait of the type?
The ribbons all lined up make me very happy. I'm perfectly willing to accept that I am childish.

2022 Deerfield Fair prize ribbons

Of course the week wasn't all about getting ready for the fair. Harvests are slowing way down as could be expected, but still are bringing good and useful things.

There was only one "first harvest" this week, and that is Swiss Chard. It is very late in the season for me to be picking it for the first time. The only reason I can think of is I did not properly amend the soil in its bed, although I thought I did.

'Oriole' and 'Peppermint' Swiss Chard

On Monday I picked tomatoes. We gave these away, plus what we had inside, to a friend who wanted to make sauce.

Monday tomato harvest

On Tuesday I picked eggplants and sweet peppers.

Tuesday eggplant and sweet pepper harvest

And also hot peppers.

Tuesday hot pepper harvest

On Sunday I did the last major harvest of tomatoes (which we will ripen indoors before giving away), plus a few carrots, plus the last of the habanero peppers.

Sunday harvest

The Kitchen Goddess is bringing in a lot more ripe raspberries, though she informed me that she's not seeing much in the way of new fruit forming. Here's a sample tipping the scale at over 2 pounds.

Sample raspberry harvest

For "preserving the harvest," we smoked, dried, and ground a large amount of paprika peppers. The powder smells wonderful.

Smoked paprika

I said last week I had made several varietal hot sauces, but the 5-ounce bottles I like to keep them in had not shipped. They did show up this week, so I used up last week's production and plus made more, resulting in (from left) 5 bottles of Habanero, 2 of cayenne, and 2 of Hot Lemon.

Varietal hot sauces

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading. Once again I encourage you to take your best vegetables and enter them into any local fair. It is so much fun to show off! And thanks as always to Dave at for hosting Harvest Monday.


  1. Congrats on all those ribbons! I'm not detecting the least bit of bitterness either. And that is a lot of hot sauce you have there. I am guessing you must give some of it away too. Our tomatoes are about done for, but it's been a decent if not great year for them. It looks like the blights didn't hurt your crop too bad.

    1. Well, I think I have the comment thing finally set right!