Monday, September 3, 2012

Amateur gardeners invited to participate in Baker County Fair

Horticulture at the Fair

The horticulture exhibit at the Baker County Fair gives amateur gardeners a chance to show off their potted plants.  It doesn’t cost anything to participate, and in fact, you can earn some cash for each plant you show. All types of plants are accepted and all qualified entries receive a ribbon and cash prize.  It’s easy to qualify, but now is the time to start preparing those plants to show.

To qualify:
  • All plants must have been grown by you, and in your possession for at least three months prior to the fair. 
  • All plants must be free from disease and insects.  

Other helpful tips:
  • Remember to rotate your plant regularly.  Unless plants are grown in full sun, they tend to turn toward the sun.  Rotating the plant encourages it to fill out and look symmetrical, and will earn you a better ribbon!
  • Grooming your plants is usually necessary before the show.  This involves removing or trimming leaves with holes and dead tips.  When trying to decide whether to trim or remove the entire leaf, consider the overall appearance and symmetry of the plant with and without the leaf in question.  If the plant will look odd with the leaf removed, then trimming may be the way to go.  Just remember to trim leaf tips to the same shape that they appear in nature.
  • You may enter up to 25 plants, but not more than one of the same cultivar or variety of plant.  Plan to enter at least one plant in each category: Flowering/Fruiting (must have flowers or fruit), Bonsai, Cacti & Succulents, Foliage Plants (plants grown for foliage; without flowers/fruit),  Hanging Plants (hanging baskets or mounted plants that are meant to hang), Special Display (container garden/mounted/topiary), and Patio Plants (containers 14” or larger).
We need youth entries!
Youth entries are judged separately from adults and there are many prizes to be won!

4-H members will receive $1 extra in addition to the fair premium!
Not a 4-H member?  Join today!

This is a great opportunity for the younger crowd to increase their interest in gardening while putting a  little cash in their pocket!

A few words about the judging procedures:

Many people get intimidated about showing plants at the fair, so I’d like to explain the judging procedures in hopes of taming any fears you may have concerning the “intense scrutiny” of your plants—which I assure you is not the case!  Instead, the entire process of showing at the fair is meant to be a fun, learning experience for all involved.

Round 1:  The judges first look at each plant individually.  They do not compare the plant to other plant species or even other plants of the same species sitting on the table.  They only look at (judge) one plant at a time by comparing it to the standard for that plant species.  The standard is how that particular plant is supposed to look.  Your plant is then judged based on the shape of the plant, health of the plant, and general appearance, and awarded a 1st (blue), 2nd (red), or 3rd (white) place ribbon.  If you are awarded a ribbon other than blue, the judge may decide to write comments on your entry tag that they believe might help
you score higher next year.

Round 2:  The judges then go back through, paying special attention to only those blue ribbon plants.  This is where the competition begins to get tougher.  In this round, individual plants may be compared to each other since the judges are looking for plants of exceptional quality and may consider growing difficulty when placing ‘Award of Merit’ ribbons.

Round 3:  The judges select a ‘Best in Show’ plant which stands out from all the other ‘Award of Merit’ winners.
Premiums for Ribbons:  Blue $3 – Red $2 – White $1 – 
Award of Merit $5 – Best of Show $10
Plant entries will be accepted at the fairgrounds on Tues. Oct. 2nd from 12pm-7pm and Wed. Oct. 3rd from 9am—2pm.
All exhibitors receive fair passes to visit the show and see what they’ve won.
If possible, bring a list of your plants with you (common and scientific name if known).
If you have questions, please call us at (904) 259-3520