How to grow prize-winning produce

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) It's fair season. If you've entered your vegetables in the fair, you probably want to know why someone gets blue, someone gets red, and some people get a yellow ribbon.

Why did these people get a yellow? They look good to me. There was a good crop of peppers this year. So the reason for the different prizes is uniformity. It's one of the things we look for and it shows that you can grow a bunch of peppers uniformly around the same size. Of course, we're also looking to see that there are no blemishes on the fruits and they are accurate for that variety. This one is a beautiful plate of nice sweet frying peppers. So it got a blue ribbon. This one got a yellow ribbon because you can see it's not as uniform. This pepper doesn't look like it fits in very well size-wise with the rest. And it's got some damage on it, too. They are certainly good peppers to eat, but if you are judging them for the fair, we are looking for uniformity and cleanliness of the varieties.

So not necessarily the biggest wins, unless you are entering the heavy weights. That is just all about weight and we don't judge those.

So you have vegetables here but also we have flowers to judge. You can still enter flowers because they will be doing another round of judging next Wednesday. Let's go look at those.

This has been kind of a tough year for flowers. I know in my garden they were late and going by soon. With the fair the end of August, and a late start to the season, lots of flowers have been slow to mature. But certain ones did really well this year, like the hydrangeas. Here are some beautiful hydrangeas with big, nice colored flowers. This is the cut flower section. You'll see there are a bunch of different kinds of annuals and perennial flowers, too. Plants such as Amaranth and celosia are really attractive and show stopping.

And you need to pay attention to the directions. Because there are exactly three flower stems in a lot of these. You can see some beautiful flowers, but there is only one stem in the jar and you have to follow directions to get a ribbon. You can see the judges behind us, Leonard and Cheryl, and they are looking for those kinds of characteristics.

There are other kinds of flowers other than just cut flowers here, too. There are flower arrangements so you can actually put together and make a beautiful arrangement to display.

I saw those beautiful little leis necklaces, so you can get creative, too.

There are a lot of different ways to exhibit your flowers at the fair and there's still time to do it. There is a second judging that happens on Wednesday, so you need to bring them in your flowers on Tuesday and you can win money doing this, too! And you can be part of the fair.