The Best looking wrapper
Entering veggies at the NY state fair would seem pretty straight forward, but upon reflecting on our experience it may have been simple but for us it was anything but. The categories are pretty loose with no division of heirloom versus hybrid, organically grown versus traditional. The products are judged by the individuals from the flower show and nothing is to be tasted! So that leaves visual appeal to be the single criteria by which items are judged and winners determined.
So we opted for a few categories and most of our produce was entered as “other” as it did not fit in the basic slot, Chocolate peppers, Poblano peppers, Csikos Botermo and Pink honey heirlooms tomatoes, Rosa Bianca Eggplant and Red okra all pesticide free heirlooms.
The day of the harvest we really had no clue what to gather. Nor did we believe we had ample supply of any and certainly nothing that resembled uniformity. We needed five similar of some and singles of others delivered, labeled and display at the fairgrounds by 11AM. The clock was against us so we packed up the items and scurried off to the horticulture building at the fairgrounds.
Driving toward the fairgrounds traffic intensified and slowed to a crawl the clock continued to move as the deadline grew closer. With not much time left the veggies arrived, were simply arranged and squeezed in amongst all the other entries. The rest was now left up to the judges.
Surprisingly the judges rewarded our pesticide free entries far more then we had thought possible. The Pink Heart heirlooms tomatoes 1st prize, the Chocolate peppers and Poblano peppers 1st prize, the Rosa Bianca eggplant 2nd prize, the Csikos Botermo heirloom tomato 2nd prize! 5 out of 6 had won the praise of judges without a taste. We just can’t figure out what happened to the Red okra? We thought for sure it was a ringer and blue ribbon winner for sure, however upon further reflection we doubt the judges were able to see the beauty that okra is as it really doesn’t come in the best looking wrapper.