Deer Gardener plants some Fall Fair advice

  • Jul. 28, 2008 6:00 a.m.

By Elaine Nyeholt-The camp cooking went well, and now I am back to plough through the overgrown flower beds and attempt to reclaim the yard. A lot of weed-whacking and it will be okay. Fortunately my veggie patches aren’t too bad, the slugs are even behaving (thanks to the sharp sand in and around the plants). A nice bunch of seaweed has accumulated in front of our house, so that will be a great mulch, once I get the weeding done. With the Tlell Fall Fair just around the corner we need to discuss some details about participating in the gardening sections. Fruit, vegetables, garden flowers and house plants are the categories that apply to this column.First, seek out the booklets for entry information and all the categories. Then, decide what your garden can supply for the fair entries. You do not have to enter them for judging, it can be exhibit only, but it’s fun for the whole fair to see all the ribbons you will win.Entries must be grown by you, and be uniform in size, color, and quality. Also label each entry ticket with the variety name. If you have no clue what kind of rhubarb you own, put Gwaii Rhubarb on the ticket. works for me! Each item number on the entry sheet gives the information you need to successfully contribute. For example: item #312 – Strawberries, (6), short stems on. If you enter with no stems, or only five berries, you will be disqualified. If your six berries have the stems on but are different sizes, you will not receive full marks in the appearance judging. Keep in mind the standards are for Fall Fairs everywhere. Since you are not taking your six strawberries, stems on, to the PNE, don’t get too worked up about it.There is a category for garden vegetable displays that is fun to enter. You need four vegetables or more, artistically displayed in whatever container you choose. From the greenhouse the display is a minimum of three varieties artistically displayed. Have fun with it. A couple of years ago during yet another abysmal growing year, I entered a stem of scarlet runner flowers in the bean category, just to show I was trying. Well, they were not amused officially, and disqualified me because there were more than six flowers on the stem. I may try it again with six flowers and see what happens this time.Garden flowers are generally well represented at the fair. All entries need to be in plain clear containers (no labels even), and must have a sample of the leaves or they are disqualified. There are nine different categories for arrangements, so there is lots of room for your artistic abilities. My favourite is the miniature floral arrangement which cannot be more than four inches overall, this is a great category for children to enter. Arrangements should have at least two types of flowers and leaves, to make them different from a display.If you choose to enter, Thursday, July 31, is not TOO late, but hurry! Take off the entry form you need from the booklet and fax it to Linda Louis at 559-8975, so she can give you an exhibitor #, and prepare your entry cards for Saturday, Aug. 2. When you bring your produce between 3 and 6 pm your cards will be waiting for you. Entries are judged that evening while they are still fresh.The Fall Fair is the social event of the year for our island community and I strongly recommend that everyone participate in any way they can. It requires a tremendous output of energy for the committee to put on a fair. Thanks need to go out to them. See you at the fair on Sunday!