Saturday, October 3, 2009

North Georgia State Fair

One of my volunteer commitments is with the Flower Show at the North Georgia State Fair. I get to help check entries to make sure they meet the requirements (right kind of container, right length of stem or number of blooms, etc.) and to check the entry tags to be sure they are filled out correctly.

One rewarding part of this work is meeting the people who bring in their flowers, leaves, or potted plants. The people have different motivations, but they all, like me, love plants. Some people are very competitive and are aiming for big prizes. Others bring plants that were given to them long ago by a mother-in-law or a favorite neighbor who has moved away, and I get to hear the stories behind why a plant is so valued by its grower. However, no matter what the motivation is behind their entry to the show, the entries are all great to see!

This year, considering the damage done by the Big Rain of '09, it is a miracle that we had a show at all.

The Fair actually runs two different flower shows, one each in the two consecutive weeks of the Fair. The first week, the entries were very sparse, but it became obvious within a couple of hours of collecting entries that this was a great year for peppers in the Atlanta area! Two entire tables were filled with vegetable entries, and most of those were peppers. It was a glorious sight.

The first check-in time for the second week was Tuesday evening, and we had alarmingly few entries, so all the volunteers went home trying to think of something to bring in to the next check-in, on Wednesday morning. Much of my yard was pretty well hammered by the prior week's rains, but my Anise Hyssop looked okay, so on Wednesday very early in the morning, in the dark, I went out and clipped a stem to stick in a clear vase to take to the Fair.

My little sprig won a blue ribbon! This still makes me smile. The sprig was entered in the herb section, because that is how it is perceived and sometime used. I mostly grow it to feed pollinators, because all kinds of bees and other insects love those purple flower spikes. A couple of the kids in my neighborhood like the flavor enough that they come over to pick a leaf or two every now and then to nibble on.


  1. Congratulations on your blue ribbon. That is very exciting.

  2. Thanks! It is a little odd to see a first place ribbon on such an inconsequential-looking sprig, but I have never entered anything in the Fair before, even though I have been volunteering there for three years, so I am pleased way out of proportion to what I had to do to earn the ribbon.

    I hope we have better weather next year, but when I helped with the Camellia entries at the Southeastern Flower Show last year we had just had a very hard freeze, so the only non-burned Camellia flowers were those that had been protected in greenhouses. That section of the show wasn't as well-filled as usual, either.

    The weather is what it is, and it is just wasting time and breath to complain, but I am glad that my one entry was looked on so favorably by the judges.

    Thanks for stopping by!


  3. Three of your little neighbors were equally as joyful for you! You and the Anise Hyssop were quite the star. I think they were more impressed with your winning than Billy Currington...the concert we went to see for the evening.


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