Home & Garden

Entering Canned Goods in the County Fair

Each year, a local county holds its annual county fair. Many years ago, my mom, aunt, and I entered some things into the fair’s competitions. My mom entered some home canned pickles, my aunt entered some home canned zucchini relish, and I entered some amateur photography of flowers and butterflies, as well as a crocheted baby afghan. I do not remember if my mom or I won any prizes.  But I do know that my aunt won a prize with her zucchini relish! Whenever we have a picnic at her house, she gets a jar out of the refrigerator and encourages us to try her award-winning zucchini relish!

For quite a few years, we did not enter anything into the fair. But last year, since it was my first summer married and canning in my own house, I decided to try to enter some things that I had canned.

What I did not realize, is that the fair had outgrown its previous location, and they had moved it to a larger park area. It is still not a huge fair, but it is much larger than I remember!

Last year, I entered six or seven canned items, and three won prizes! I was awarded second place for my canned green beans and pepper slaw, and third place for my zucchini relish.

I was confused as to why some of my other entries did not win, but it could have come down to anything, really. The judges even take the condition of the lids and rings into consideration! So, I may have had a bit of rust on one of the rings, and that may have caused my entries not to win.

I did not get bent out of shape about not winning. I just decided I would try it again next year!

Well, next year is now!

The other weekend, when I was having my yard sale, I started researching the categories for competitions. I made a list of things I would like to enter.

One of the rules is that everything entered must have been made or grown since the date of the last fair. Also, each exhibitor can only enter one product per class. For example, if I make two different kinds of pickle relish, I can only enter one in the fair.

The entry fees are what I would consider inexpensive. It is $1.00 per entry, and the pay outs are $4.00 for first place, $3.00 for second place, and $2.00 for third place. So, last year I brought home $8.00, when I only spent about $5.00 on entry fees! It is not going to make anyone rich, (unless they can dominate canned goods!) but it is a few extra bucks and some bragging rights!

I am planning to broaden my horizons this year! I would like to not only enter canned goods, but also crochet a baby blanket in the next few weeks to enter.

After careful consideration, I decided I am going to be entering the following:

Dill Pickle Relish (You can find the recipe here.)

Zucchini Relish

Pickled Beets

Pizza Sauce

Spaghetti Sauce

French Onion Soup

Sauerkraut

Crocheted baby blanket

Be sure to check back in about 4 weeks to find out how my entries fared!

Do you have any local county or state fairs that you enjoy going to? Do you enter anything in those fairs? I would love to hear about it, so please feel free to comment below!

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