North Dakota State Fair Time!
I had the opportunity to judge the FFA horticulture division on Thursday July 17, 2014. It is amazing how many plants are brought in from FFA Chapters across the state. Most of the plants were ornamentals.
I really like the idea of container gardening. It allows us to move plants around using each plant in a different setting.
You don’t need a plot of land to grow fresh vegetables or flowers. Many vegetables lend themselves well to container gardening. With some thought to selecting bush or dwarf varieties, almost any vegetable can be adapted to growing in a pot. Even if you want your favorite full-size variety, if you give it a large enough pot and plenty of soil and water, it will grow just fine and reward you with plenty. Vegetables that take up little space, such as carrots, radishes and lettuce, or crops that bear fruits over a long period of time, such as tomatoes and peppers, are perfect for container vegetable gardens.
There seems to be fewer vegetables this year at the North Dakota State Fair. Perhaps the late spring had a lot to do with it. But the rhubarb is not affected very much by the cooler temperatures that we had this year.
Red rhubarb and red fading to green seems to be dominant at the fair. My opinion is that the color of the stalk has no bearing whatsoever on the level of sweetness.
Being from northern North Dakota, I have a real difficult time believing that melons can be this far along. Granted, we may be able to have earlier crops with high tunnels. Yet, still here they are on exhibit!
It is so much fun watching the excitement in the exhibitors from FFA, 4-H and open class as everyone takes a lot of pride in showing their best product. When I am judging, I often wonder if the exhibitor will ask why I ranked their exhibit the way I did. Well it finally happened! The exhibitor asked me why I did not rank his higher. I was judging jade plants and all looked very similar in size and condition. Lifting up the pots, I noticed that one had not been watered in quite a while. For me that was the determining factor. Seems trivial but proper plant soil moisture is always important.
AND it is time to get ready to do some pickling! This time of the year cucumbers and dill are in abundance
They have yet to ask me to judge the baked goods. I really think it would take me all day just to get through the “taste test” part!
If you are going to the State Fair in Minot, take time to look at horticulture, livestock and all the other exhibits being shown by the proud individuals in FFA, 4-H and Open class.
Till next time …