The Utah State Fair would not be complete without a visit to the displays of giant pumpkins and watermelons, luscious peaches and the weird and unusually shaped fruits and vegetables from gardens throughout the state. Bart Anderson, state horticultural crops supervisor, offers this advice for people who want to enter items in the fair:
The books listing all rules of entry are available from the fair office, he says. If you entered last year you should get a copy in the mail. All entries will be accepted between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 9. There is a $1 entry fee per item and premiums are paid for produce that places in the various categories.New this year is a children's vegetable art award, and each child can enter up to two items. Children can make something out of their vegetable, whether it is a turtle made out of squash, a bird made out of a gourd or whenever else strikes their fancy.
Categories for giant vegetables always draw a lot of interest. These vegetables are not judged on quality but strictly on size. Many of the large pumpkins and squash have to be taken to the livestock barn for weighing.
Most vegetables are judged on market quality. That is, they should be displayed at the peak of their perfection. In addition to following the rules listed in the fair book, make certain that your display is clean and that the vegetables are very uniform.
Judges do not look as much at the size of the regular entries as they do at whether the display matches the other produce on the plate or tray.
Take a little extra time to select produce that is free from blemishes. Handle it very carefully. Some of the best displays are ruined because people bruise them while picking them or getting them ready to display.
"Every year I hear dozens of people walk by and say `I had vegetables in my garden that were better than these,' " Anderson says. He advises them to take that produce down to the fair and let the judges decide. Nobody will win if he or she does not enter.