Mercer County Fair


  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:

Select specimens of top quality and at prime maturity, the best stage of eating for storing.

Exhibits for table use should be as fresh as possible.

Clean and properly trim exhibits according to specifications.

Select specimens free from disease, insect, or mechanical injury.

Specimens must be typical for the variety and type. Do not choose very small or very large specimens.

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.

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.

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 ¼-½ inches of the calyx (stem) attached. Specimens should be well 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 than ½ inch.

Carrots– Do not remove tip of the root. Trim 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 stem no longer than 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 6-8 inches. Up to ½ inch in 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. Tie 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 no 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 Swiss 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


2861 Special lot to show off the whole garden in one exhibit. Six vegetables, one of each. Your Choice!




2871 Planted in a 4” container

2872 Basil                   3 stems

2873 Chives                 12 stems

2874 Cilantro              3 stems

2875 Parsley               3 stems

2876 Rosemary           3 stems

2877 Other                 3 stems


Instruction for preparing Fruits.

Raspberries-Overripe barriers 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 a basket. Do not use a jar.


Fruits and Berries


2881 Raspberries (fresh)        1 pint

2882 Strawberries (fresh)       1 pint

2883 Other                             1 pint