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Archive for August, 2010

Tomorrow, August 28, is the big day! And pssst, guess what – with only a handful of entries, the vegetable categories are still anybody’s game.  Since the contests are open only to DC residents, your back porch tomato or mid-size melon just might win!   Enter here or just bring your vegetables the day of.  The drop-off times for these contests are:

12:30-1:30PM Funkiest-Looking Vegetable
1-2PM Biggest Vegetable
2:30-3:30PM Tastiest Tomato
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Wow, it’s been a whole year since the very first Food Blogger Happy Hour!  It all began when Mary (aka Arugula Files) had a fabulous interview in the Washingtonian.  She gave my blog a shout-out in the interview, which was totally flattering, because I really liked her blog as well.  So I emailed her to tell her so, and to suggest that since we all read and comment on each other’s blogs, we should really put together some kind of meet-up.  Jenna (aka ModernDomestic) was our next co-conspirator, and many more followed after that.   And thus a mutual admiration society monthly series of fun food blogger get-togethers was born.

This month we’re heading back to where it all began: Poste!  Bloggers, readers, commenters, and fans of truffle fries are welcome to join us Wednesday, September 1, starting around 6pm.  Jenna and I are your co-hosts this time, and thanks as always to Mary for the keen graphic.  See you there!

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A little less than a year ago, I bemoaned the fact that DC doesn’t have a state/county fair where district residents can show off their talents in vegetable gardening, pie baking, home canning, etc.

Well, a few of us bloggers decided to make it happen.  On August 28, The DC State Fair will celebrate the talents of district residents with contests such as Tastiest Tomato, Best Home-Made Pie, a photography contest, jam and pickle competitions, a poetry contest for kids, and even a home-brewed beer contest.  Please enter!

We had a great interview on DCist the other day.  This passage really encapsulates our reasons for putting this event on:

So what was your inspiration for putting together a D.C. state fair?

It’s a need that D.C. has — there are so many organizations in the District with a focus on agriculture, so many community gardens, and so much focus right now on agriculture and home gardening in general, that it would be a disservice to the community NOT to have a gathering to celebrate urban agriculture! And D.C. is full of people who love cooking, baking, home canning, and so forth. Anywhere else in the country, you’d be able to enter your prize tomato or secret-recipe pie in the county fair. We thought D.C. residents should have the same opportunity.

And the community has been really supportive: we’ve already gotten A Few Cool Hardware Stores, Kid Power, Casey Trees, Fat Man After Dark, Smorgie, and Girl Meets Food as sponsors.

Incidentally, the fair is why I could also have titled this post “Why I’m Not Posting To This Blog Very Often These Days.”  If you’re interested in entering, volunteering, or donating, please head to the DC State Fair website.  See you at the fair!

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This summer in the garden has been a disappointment in various ways.  The heat has been bad in two ways: it’s stressing out a lot of the plants, which only makes them more susceptible to disease and pests, and the heat has also prevented me from spending the time needed to keep the weeds under control.  It’s kind of spiraling out of control.  And on top of that, the deer found a way over my fence and ate a bunch of stuff.  My Corno Di Toro pepper plants really took a beating.

The strawberries have been small and not very plentiful.  The fingerling potatoes were a bust (although the red potatoes did alright).  A lot of the tomatoes got diseased and died.  The onions aren’t doing much.  I didn’t plant enough beets.  Oh, woe is me.

To be sure, I’ve had some victories.  The string beans have been amazingly productive, as has the kale and Swiss chard.  Despite getting nibbled on, the pepper plants are making plenty of good-sized peppers.  The carrots and garlic and shallots acquitted themselves admirably.  And according to my valuation system, I’ve harvested over $150 worth of vegetables from my garden so far.  By the end of the year, I’ll have more than made back what I put into it.

Still, it’s hard not to feel like this summer has been a partially wasted opportunity.  I’m already thinking about my fall garden, and about what I’ll do differently in the summer of 2010.  That’s the nice thing about gardening, there’s always a new season just around the corner.

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