Monday, August 9, 2010
Award Winning Herbs at the Fair
At the coaxing of a fellow farmer I went ahead and entered my herbs in the county fair this year for the first time. I am sure glad I did as I came away with 15 ribbons (including reserve champion for chocolate mint) and my husband and son also took away a few. Now I can tell my customers that my herbs are 'award winning herbs'!
I have always loved fairs and their historic importance. They celebrate agriculture and are a chance for people to come together to show their wares. Some county fairs are more extensive than others and the Boulder County Fair is just the right size with a small midway, several food vendors (including the 4H ice cream bar)and the typical animal, plant and project displays.
Although I take good care of my herbs all summer, the only special thing I did for the fair was to give them a good watering and trimming a week before the fair. There are categories for most culinary types of herbs as well as several 'other' classes. Requirements are to have 6 stems of each in a glass jar. Judging is based on condition, presentation, aroma and taste when appropriate. I realized after the fact that the Herb Society of America of which I am a member publishes a guide to showing/judging herbs. You can find that here.
Besides entering herbs in the fair, we also purchased a few chickens after the 4H judging. They seem to be settling in just fine.
Since I support agriculture county fairs are very important to me. Colorado has some good ones too including Adams County, Larimer County, and Elbert County (besides Boulder County). Jefferson county has more of a 4H day than a fair, but we were involved in that some when we lived in Lakewood. I hope that county fairs continue to do well in our country. If you have one in your county you can support it both by attending and by entering.