Thursday, August 9, 2012

Award Winning Veggies

July 19, 2012

Dirty Dave’s Farm is now award winning! Our hard work and perseverance paid big with two first place awards at the internationally recognized and world famous Orange County Fair Vegetable Competition. With dirt under our nails and smelling like manure we fearlessly trekked to the fair the day before it opened with our freshly picked goods. This was our first time entering a competition for vegetables so we wanted to make a good impression. But upon arrival at the fairgrounds parking lot, we had to muscle a few old ladies out of the way as they tried to take us on with their zucchini and lemons. I had Isabel distract one while I tripped the other and caused them drop their produce. We even knocked one elderly gal into the water at the pond display as we made our way into Centennial Farms. She never knew what hit her. The paramedics were nice to her.

Anyway, Allison, Isabel and I cluelessly delivered perfect specimens of our veggies, but we didn't understand the rules and were only able to enter a few of our items.  It turns out that we needed to have three of each vegetable to be judged on type, size, uniformity, condition and market quality.  Of course, we know the rules now.  But damned if we didn't win top prizes!  We won for the largest carrot (it took some patience to dig that one out of the dirt) and top specimen for our Yukon Gold potatoes because we fortunately brought three of those.
Paige with "Gigante".

Allison’s father, John Blaydes, also entered a couple of his watercolor paintings and a photo in the fine arts category.

The lady with the lemon did pretty well after all. 

On August 5th we will be at the fair showing our chickens. Please come by and say hi. It is really fun and we are somewhat clueless about the whole chicken thing as well, but what we thought was our least impressive pullet last year won Show Champion and we still have no idea why. The judge knew something though as that chicken grew up to be our prettiest and most consistent egg layer.

We know a little bit more this year but still are a long way from the expertise of the chicken show circuit people. Yes, we have discovered a subculture of chicken people who travel all over showing their flocks. We will still be arriving with our chickens in a dog crate. The pros have custom made and hand painted show boxes. That separates the men from the boys in chickenland.

Mini Farmers Market in the neighborhood
Last night we made our first effort at a mini farmers market we put up in our community. It was a ton of flipping work to get together just a couple tables worth of our goods. I have so much respect for farmers and the incredible work it takes to get their goods to market. We were going to have the girls do the farm stand, but as it turned out it took all four of us three hours just to pick and clean the produce. The neighbors were great and showed up to support. We made $75 the hard way but it is a great lesson for the girls and was a great first run for us. Plus the neighbors loved it and can’t wait until the next one.  When we have our sauces bottled we are going to use some real farmers markets as test markets for the sauces which we will amend with some of our fresh produce. Stay tuned, have a great day and go get dirty.


  1. I want a farm box delivered to my house once a week!!!
    please send me the bill pay info...
    (I am serious!!)

  2. Me too! Congrats on your OC Fair ribbons! What a talented family you are Blaydes/Donaldson's! love s