Fair prize

Every year the Champlain Valley Fair has a flower, fruit and vegetable competition with a ton of categories to enter. Winning entries receive a blue ribbon and a small monetary prize — plus bragging rights and recognition among fellow gardeners.

If you couldn’t guess already, this part of the fair (with exception to the Fried Oreo vendors) is my favorite.

At last year’s fair, I marveled at all of the entries. I vowed that I would enter something in next year.

Well, I didn’t know what to expect when I dropped my vegetables off on Friday, August 23 at the North Pavilion Building at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds. My garden was very successful this year and I considered every one of my vegetables prize-winners. But, of course, a mother’s love for her little green children is often a protective one.

So it was with hesitation that I brought three of my best-looking table cucumbers, a bunch of swiss chard, and two oddly shaped Italian climbing squash to the judging arena.

Once tagged, I was told to leave them on an exhibit rack and wave goodbye. The judging would start promptly at 10 a.m. the next day.

Since I wasn’t able to get to the fair until Saturday night, I was left in suspense. Would I receive a phone call? A text message? Would I get an email saying that I won?

And when I didn’t receive anything — I considered it a lost cause.

Late Saturday night, I waded through the crowd of glittery Ke$ha fans as they exited Saturday night’s concert — making a beeline for the Expo North Building and the vegetable display.

And to my surprise, what did I see?




My cukes earned a blue ribbon and my squash was dubbed Best of Class!

This garden mother has never been prouder.


— Susan