Sunday, July 31, 2011
Today I got the opportunity to judge fresh and canned produce again. Today was the opening of the Greene County Fair in Xenia, Ohio. It was great to see our good friends Ed and Wilma again and their excellent committee.
Entries were down a bit but the quality was high, as usual. You could tell gardens were late or went unplanted this year but the savvy garders were right in there again with quality produce. The heat is taking its toll on these crops but the quality is still excellent.
I don't remember seeing zucchini in so many different forms! This venerable, unstoppable vegetable made its way into all kinds of canned foods! Potatoes and tomatoes took a hit this year but there were still some real good entries.
One lady cans everything under the sun and they keep reading her exhibitor number over and over. I don't look at the tag but it makes you want to look when you are judging and spread the wealth around a little! Then when they read a different number for first I wondered now did I really pick the best one?
Canned vegetables are difficult to judge without tasting but we couldn't taste every sample so color and presentation is about all you have to work with except size and uniformity of the vegetable. I look for damaged pieces and off colors first and always compare the rest of the class to the one I think is best.
I am pretty brain dead and tired when I get done but it's still fun. Teaching the committee what you are looking for is as much fun as watching them watch me and just talking back and forth. It's good for all of us and makes us all think.
Lots of fairs are losing their older exhibitors and it is good to see younger generations involved like the youth shows. I hope these traditions never end but I can see where they might.
Many Ohio fairs are commerating 150-160 years of exhibition and I hope we can keep them going a long while.