Mercer County Fair

Horticulture-Division 28

  1. Specimens must be exhibited on a plate or in a low sided box. They may then be covered with plastic wrap or put in a plastic bag, which will be removed before judging.
  2. Odd vegetables may be exhibited, but no awards will be given.

Instructions for preparing vegetables for exhibit

  1. Select specimens of top quality and at prime maturity, the best stage of eating of storing.
  2. Exhibits for table use should be as fresh as possible.
  3. Clean and properly trim exhibits according to specifications.
  4. Select specimens free from disease, insect or mechanical injury.
  5. Specimens must be typical for the variety and type. Do not choose very small or very large specimens.
  6. Uniformity in size, shape, maturity, color and type is essential. When a lot calls for a collection of specimens, be sure that all are as similar as possible.
  7. Clean vegetables with a soft brush or facial tissue to remove loose soil without skinning or bruising the exhibit. Avoid washing if possible.  Do not oil or polish.
  8. The exhibit requires the exact number of specimens to be eligible for awards

Instructions for preparing Vegetables

 Asparagus– Trim to uniform length of 7-8 inches. Ties in two places with ribbon or rubber band

Beans– Pods should be picked with ¼ -1/2 inches of the calyx (stem) attached.  Specimens should be welled filled. Snap beans should be firm, tender and stringless.

Beets-Trim the tops to 1 inch in length.  Specimens should be blocky, not angular. The neck should be narrow and shoulders smooth.  Do not remove tap roots, roots may be washed.

Broccoli– Harvest fresh and keep refrigerated until ready to exhibit.  Remove all leaves below the head. Head should be at least 3 inches in diameter, stalk and head at least 6 inches long.

Cabbage– Heads should be firm and heavy for its size.  Do not peel excessively.  Two layers of sound outer leaves should be left on.  The stalk should not be longer then ½ inch.

Carrots– Do not remove tip of the root.  Trip tops to a length of 1 inch.  Shoulders should not be green or purple.  Specimens should be straight and without side roots or root hairs.

Cauliflower– The curd should be at least 4 inches in diameter and uniformly pure white. Trim jacket leaves even with top of head. Some of the older leaves may be removed. Trim jacket leaves even with top of head. Trim stem no longer then 1 inch.

Cucumbers– Pickling types should have ½ inch stem and be 2-5 inches long.  Slicing types are to be 6-8 inches long with a diameter not exceeding 2 inches.

Dill– cut seed heads with 10-12-inch stems, tie near lower end of stems and again just below seed heads.

Eggplant– The color should be deep purple or nearly black and a 1-inch stem attached.

Garlic-see onions

Kohlrabi– Roots should be removed just below the ball.  Cut tops at base.  Specimens should be uniform and of medium size, not hard or woody. Clean, but do not wash.

Lettuce (head)-Harvest fresh or place in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator until ready to exhibit.  Remove the older outer leaves that show yellowing.

Onions– Onions should be well-matured. Necks should be thin, dry, and approximately 1 inch long. Remove no more than one layer of skin clean. Trim roots neatly ¾ inch from base.

Onions Green– Trim tops to an even length, overall length of onions exhibited 6 to 8 inches. Up to ½ inch diameter, straight, white stem and dark green leaves. Bulbs not enlarged. Even length. Table ready.

Parsnips– See carrots

Peas– Pods should be picked ¼ to ½ inches of calyx (stem) attached. Specimens should be well filled. Peas should be firm, tender and stringless.

Peppers– Leave stems 1 inch long. All specimens in the exhibit should have the same number of lobes.

Radishes– Leave 1-inch tops. Wash and place six roots per plate. Harvest fresh or refrigerate until ready to exhibit.  Specimen should be fresh, firm, crisp, good color, smooth and free of blemishes.

Rhubarb– Pull, do not cut stalks. Trim leaves so only 2 inches of leaf blade remains attached to stalk.  Ties 6 stalks together.

Spinach– Remove roots, wash and keep fresh by refrigerator until ready to exhibit.

Squash (summer) – Select small to medium sized fruits with a rind that is soft and easily punctured with thumbnail. Stem should be 2-3 inches long.

Squash (winter) – Rind should be resisting the pressure of a thumbnail. Leave stems 2-3 inches long.

Swiss Chard– See Spinach

Tomatoes– Remove stems.

Turnips– Specimens should not be over 2 ½ inches in diameter. Trim top to 1 inch. Leave 2 inches of tap root.



Lot Name Number
2801 Asparagus 6 spears
2802 Beans (green) 12 pods
2803 Beans (yellow) 12 pods
2804 Beets 6
2805 Broccoli 1 head
2806 Cabbage 1 head
2807 Carrots 6
2808 Cauliflower 1 head
2809 Cucumbers (pickling) 6
2810 Cucumbers (slicers) 6
2811 Dill 3 heads
2812 Eggplant 1
2813 Garlic 3 bulbs
2814 Kohlrabi 3
2815 Lettuce (loose leaf) 1 plant
2816 Lettuce(butterhead) 1 plant
2817 Lettuce (other) 1 plant
2818 Onions (green) 6
2819 Onions (yellow) 6
2820 Onions (white) 6
2821 Onions (other) 6
2822 Parsnips 3
2823 Peas, snap 6 pods
2824 Peas, shell 6 pods
2825 Peas, snow 6 pods
2826 Peppers (green) 3
2827 Peppers (red) 3
2828 Peppers (banana) 3
2829 Peppers (jalapeno) 3
2830 Peppers (other) 3
2831 Radishes (red) 6
2832 Radishes (other) 6
2833 Radishes (white) 6
2834 Rhubarb 6 stalks
2835 Rutabaga 3
2836 Spinach 3 leaves
2837 Squash (acorn) 1
2838 Squash (buttercup) 1
2839 Squash (butternut) 1
2840 Squash (hubbard) 1
2841 Squash (spaghetti) 1
2842 Squash (summer) 1
2843 Squash (zucchini) 1
2844 Swish Chard 3 leaves
2845 Tomatoes (red) 6
2846 Tomatoes (yellow) 6
2847 Tomatoes (cherry) 6
2848 Tomatoes (other) 6
2849 Turnips 6
2850 Any other Vegetables
2851 Vegetables in a pot


Garden Specials


2852  Special lot to show off the whole garden in one exhibit. Six vegetables, one of each. Your choice!



2860 Planted in a 4” container
2861 Basil 3 stems
2862 Chives 12 stems
2863 Cilantro 3 stems
2864 Dill 3 heads
2865 Parsley 3 stems
2866 Rosemary 3 stems
2867 Other 3 stems


Instructions for preparing fruits

Raspberries– Overripe berries are dull and soft and should be excluded.  The fruit specimens should not contain a stem or core and are best displayed in a basket.  Do not use a jar.

Strawberries– Exhibit ripe fruit, avoid fruit with green streaks.  The caps and short stems should be left attached to the fruit specimens.  Best displayed in baskets. Do not use a jar.


Fruits and Berries


2870 Raspberries (fresh) 1 pint
2872 Strawberries (fresh) 1 pint
2873 Other 1 pint