The Richmond Register

July 31, 2013

Are you eating your fruits and vegetables?

By Gina Noe
Extension Agent

RICHMOND — This summer has been a challenging one for those of us who enjoy gardening. Earlier this summer my husband and I were concerned that we might be in for another drought. The dry conditions prevented us from planting our corn rows on the two week schedule we have found works best for us. Then the rains started and the garden was to wet to till and work. We still have space to add 3 more rows of corn, which I hope to do after the county fair. We will see if the weather holds out long enough to harvest that corn. 

Right now the first two rows are ready to pick. Unfortunately the birds, squirrels, and raccoons like Peaches and Cream corn also. A week ago we had a beautiful outside row of corn. We were just waiting for the silks to turn brown. Despite Carl’s best efforts to keep ahead of the wild critters, I have harvested only two ears of corn. I don’t mind sharing, but this is ridiculous.

Because I know the challenges of raising a garden, I am always amazed at the beautiful assortment of vegetables and flowers that are entered in the county fair. The fair is a great opportunity to show off your hard work and gardening skills. If you have a garden and you haven’t already gathered your entries for the fair, you have a little more time to prepare. Entries for the open class divisions will be accepted Thursday morning, Aug. 1, 8:30 a.m. to noon, in the Harold Richardson Floral Hall at the Madison County Fairgrounds, 3237 Old Irvine Road, Richmond. Besides horticulture exhibits you may also enter your best heritage skill items, such as baskets and paintings. There are also classes to show off your canning, baking, and handiwork talents. For a complete listing of classes visit our website at FamilyConsumerSciences, and scroll down the page for a link to rules and categories. You may enter for free. Prizes include ribbons, premium money and bragging rights.

For those of you who enjoy fresh produce, but don’t want the hassle of raising your own garden don’t forget to visit the local farmers’ markets. On Saturday, Aug. 3, the Madison County Extension staff and volunteers will be at the Richmond Farmers’ Market in Lowes parking lot. We will be giving away some tasty samples and kitchen gadgets. We will also have information on food preservation, horticulture and Extension Homemakers.

If your garden has provided you with an abundant harvest or if you would like to purchase extra produce at the farmers’ market to enjoy throughout the year, you have one last chance to attend our food preservation classes this summer. On Thursday, Aug. 8, we will offer Food Preservation 101 at 9 a.m. and again at 6 p.m.  In this class we will demonstrate drying, freezing, and canning methods.  If you prefer a hands on experience sign up for Food Preservation Boot Camp which will be offered on Thursday, Aug. 15 from noon to 4 p.m.  All classes are $5 and require pre-registration, 859-623-4072.

Happy Gardening!

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.