IOW Fair preparing for crop, garden entries

Published 10:33 am Wednesday, September 5, 2012


ISLE OF WIGHT—The Isle of Wight County Fair from Thursday, Sept. 13, through Sunday, Sept. 16, will feature an agriculture section.

People can enter their field and garden crops for judging.

Entry forms will be available when items are taken to the fairgrounds in Windsor from 7 a.m. to noon Thursday. Judging will be from noon to 5 p.m. The tent will be closed during judging.

The rules are as follows:

• Only three entries per class are allowed per household or farm.

• The competition is open to all ages.

• All entries must be homegrown, clean, ripe and/or edible unless otherwise stated.

• Entries must remain at the fair until it closes on Sunday.

• Bagged entries must be in clear plastic bags.

• Corn must be shucked and the husk removed, except on stalked entries.

• Cotton should be as mature as possible.

• No artificial flowers, fruit, nuts, vegetables or foliage will be accepted.

• Harvest baskets are not to exceed 24 inches in length, width or height.

• Plants must be in the exhibitor’s possession for at least three months.

• Previous blue ribbon container plant winners may not be entered.

Danny Byrum of Carrollton will head up the department for a fourth year.

“I handle the whole ag area, which includes four tents, 4-H, tractors and all that stuff,” said Byrum, the owner Batten Bay Farms and Master Gardener chairman for Western Tidewater.

“I’m a vegetable farmer myself,” said Byrum. “I’ve won a few blue, red and white ribbons. But of course I don’t enter anymore.”

“I had the largest pumpkin at one time, as well as entering okra, pears and eggplants,” he added.

Janet Spencer, extension agent for the county, said she and her co-workers no longer serve as judges. Mike Parrish of Dinwiddie County and Glen Slade of Surry County will have that job.

“They’ll look for a certain number of each type, such as grapes and pears, for example,” Spencer said. “They’ll check for blemishes, rotten spots, size and discoloration.”

The extension service will have a display. Soybeans will be the focus crop, Spencer said.

The Master Gardeners will offer planting techniques and ideas for home gardeners.