Are you the member of your family with the proverbial “green thumb?” Are you the one who desperately foists basket after basket of zucchini on wary, but polite, neighbors?
If your answer is yes, then the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) wants you to get busy this summer and grow a state-record largest fruit or vegetable.
“It’s been an excellent growing season so far, so I encourage everyone to see what they can do in the garden” said Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick.
WVDA has kept records on the largest fruits and vegetables since 1996. Records are published on the WVDA website, wvagriculture.org
, under the Marketing tab.
“This program is a lot of fun for the participants, and the public gets excited when they see some of the gigantic produce grown every summer,” said WVDA Marketing and Development Director Jean Smith. “We’ve all seen how popular the giant pumpkin contest is at the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival. I’m sure this will also be interesting to farmers and non-farmers alike.”
Of course, results won’t be known until later this year, but aspiring gardeners will need to get a start now if they want a page in the record book come fall.
The contest is open to any fruit or vegetable grown in West Virginia during 2013. Entrants should send photos and evidence of the size/weight of their prize plants to WVDA, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. East, Charleston, WV 25305.
Current record holders are:
Potato, 3.16 lbs., Gwen Wilson, 2000
Tomato, 3.9 lbs., Glen Knox, 2011
Sweet potato, 14.81 lbs., Ray Hendrix, 2012
Watermelon, 142.5 lbs., Walter Jones, 2005
Basil leaf, 18 sq. in., Susan Sauter, 1996
Sunflower, 13 ft. 11 in., Laird and Stacey Marshall, 2012
Zucchini, 10 lbs., Johnna Grapes, 1996
Pumpkin, 1,157, Scott Wotring, 2006
Apple, 1 lb., 8.5 oz., George S. Orr and Sons, 2002
Rutabaga, 9 lbs., 6 oz., Shawn and Christy Bittinger, 1998
Turnip, 9.26 lbs., Donald G. Thompson, 2001
Radish, 13.27 lbs., Michael R. Tolley, 2011
Mushroom, 9.83 lbs., Phillip D. Smith, 1999
Elephant Garlic 1.25 lbs., Shawn and Christy Bittinger, 1999
Cantaloupe, 27.45 lbs., Glen Knox, 2011
Cushaw, 57 lbs., Gail Cline, 2008
Ear of Corn, 12 1/8”, Nathan Milburn Sharp, 2009
Stalk of Corn, 13 ft. 2 in., Nathan Milburn Sharp, 2009
Cucumber, 41 in., Howard Hager/Ann Buggington
WV Department of Agriculture