Recently, a Grow Appalachia participant entered into a few categories at the local fair.  Mrs. Glenda Newport entered her vegetables, canned items, and crocheted items into the Culinary, Horticulture, Arts and Crafts, Ladies Apparel, and Hair Accessories categories.

Under the Culinary category, she entered green beans, tomato juice, okra, hot pepper, sweet pepper, blackberries, peach preserve, peach juice, peach jelly, cherry juice, cherry jelly, strawberry preserve, strawberry jelly, grape juice, grape jam, grape jelly, whole tomatoes, chow chow, and pepper relish.  Of the 19 canned items she entered, 15 won ribbons.

Mrs. Newport had 20 entries in the variety of categories for her crocheted items.  Of these 20, 18 won ribbons.  She had entered head bands, purses, dolls, toy animals, baby booties, and scarves.

Under the horticulture category, she entered 10 individual items and 2 variety of baskets.  As you can see, she entered peppers, pumpkins, and sunflowers.  The quart jar contains dried white half runners.  Mrs. Newport said it took a peck and a half to make a quart jar of dried beans, and the way she did it was to use a dehydrator.  This particular pumpkin is used specifically for pies.  Her variety baskets took first and second place.  First prize award was $50 and second prize award $25.

Now onto some pictures of her garden.  She has a beautiful garden as you can see below.  As we were talking about gardening techniques, she had mentioned how you can tell the difference between a female and male bell pepper.  A cousin of Mrs. Newport actually told her this.  At the bottom of a pepper you will notice it will have either three or four points.  If the pepper has four points, then it is a male pepper which is better used for cooking since it has more of a bitter taste.  If it has three points, then it is a female pepper which is better to be eaten fresh since it has a sweeter taste.  Also pictured below is a little friend who had decided to lays eggs in her garden.  I guess she thought the garden was a beautiful and perfect spot to house her eggs.

As we were talking, I had mentioned about a different way to planting corn then what is traditional in this area, and she said she was told the same way of planting from the same cousin who told her about pepper plants.  Most people plant corn by placing two or three kernels for every 5-8 inches.  However, if you plant one kernel to every 5 inches, you will produce more corn.  She said she experimented, and it showed to be true.  She planted two rows of corn traditionally, and at the end of her rows of beans, she planted her corn the newer method she was told.  Mrs. Newport said that she produced at least twice as much corn than she did the traditional way.  This is wonderful because not only do you increase your yield, but you also save money in the long run because of the cost of corn seed.

Incase you were wondering, no those are not tomatoes growing on a potato plant.  They are the fruit of a potato plant.  Though they can be used for seed saving (however I don’t know how), they are not to be eaten since they are poisonous.

– David Mayfield