I’ve been thinking about the Champlain Valley Fair (CVF) lately. There’s not much I love more than the anticipation and actualization of shaving weeks off my life each year, while indulging in a deep fried onion as big as my head with extra mayo sauce. And that’s just the appetizer.
Usually half-way through our big evening at the fair, as we are inching closer to our graves and checking out the outfits that should get people either arrested or at least severely scolded, we wander over to the vegetable display. For those city-folk out there, this is the section in which every little old lady and little kid brings in their prized vegetable to be judged by a panel of vegetable experts. Who are the vegetable experts? I have no idea, but they live among us – that I do know.
Largest tomato, smallest tomato, darkest purple eggplant, crookedest snap pea, etc., etc., etc. There is a prize for every category of every type of vegetable available. And although I love looking at all of these great vegetables, I’ve always thought that I’d need to wait until I was an old lady to enter any of these contests, since I’ve clearly missed the kid division. I need a little bit more time on my hands to focus on growing prize-winning vegetables. That, and in Vermont I’ve decided to focus my energy into hoping that my tomatoes ripen before the first frost, rather than hoping they turn out good enough for an entry into a veggie contest. Simple goals now (ripening), big goals later (blue ribbon for the shortest carrot). I’m a dreamer, what can I say?
And this is proof that dreams can come true:
This is what happens when you plant things in your French garden in March (!) and forget to look at them for a while. Last summer in Vermont, I planted zucchini and I was so proud to harvest one veg from each plant. Luckily for Tim, he doesn’t like zucchini, so I didn’t have to try to smuggle them into the house and eat them without him seeing. He was more that happy to be a spectator as I raved about how delicious my lowly zucchini were.
I finally looked at our zucchini plants the day before we went on vacation and voila! I realized that I am contender for the blue ribbon at the CVF for the largest zucchini!
My friend and neighbor is coming to visit us in France a mere week before the start of the fair. Maybe I could smuggle on of these in her bag on the return trip and finally take home that blue ribbon (Tami, you in?). However, I have a feeling that the size would give them away as not begin authentic Vermont grown veggies and Tami might get busted by TSA for importing foreign vegetables.
Some dreams die hard.