Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Potato Judging

In order to bring a little balance to our lives with all this museum visiting and music playing, Grace and Naomi decided to participate in the Montgomery Country 4-H potato judging competition at the PA Farm Show in Harrisburg yesterday.

They spent quite a few nights at the 4-H center here learning about potato defects and listening to talks on potato farming that past couple months.  Apparently there is a lot more to potato farming than we knew!  It really just made us laugh whenever we talked about it though.  It reminded us of that Napoleon Dynamite scene where Napoleon is judging milk at the state fair.
 "This tastes like the cow got into the onion patch." 

But potatoes are much more complex.  Seriously!  The girls had to be able to identify 40 different defects in the potatoes and then go through 100 potatoes in 2 minutes deciding which potatoes were fit for sale and which were not.  The other part of the competition was to correctly identify exactly which of the 40 defects each potato had.
This is very serious business.  They had clipboards and everything!

Could it be rhizoctonia or sunburn? Oh the pressure!
But all that hard work paid off.  Naomi's team placed 4th in the state and Grace placed 2nd (by 1/2 a point!) in the individual class.  Not bad at all since this was their first time and they were competing against Northampton County, the potato growing county in the state.

This was a great excuse to get out to the Farm Show and they all had a fascinating time.  No one could stop talking when they got home, each one interrupting the next as they tried to tell me everything they saw.  I had to stay home with Claire because of the Lily and the puppies, but I will definitely be making an effort to go next time.  Some highlights:
The famous butter sculpture.
Long legged chickens.
Duckling tricks.
Burgers made completely out of mushrooms.
More cows than you could count.
How many cinder-blocks can your horses pull?
Eggs hatching.
Even the security was on horseback.
Apparently there was so much more to see and it sounds like we could spend a good two days there next year if we can work it out.  I thought it was going to be unbearably crowded, but Christian said it wasn't that bad and it was all so interesting.  This looks like it's going to be a new annual trip!

And if you need any help deciding if your potatoes are grade A, just ask our little experts.  :)


  1. haha! That is so cool!! Oh my word I stared at that chicken for so long, so weird looking!

    1. I know, right!? Christian thought that chicken looked like it belonged on the catwalk. I have never seen a chicken like that before!

  2. Oh - this makes me even sadder! :) We were supposed to go today, as a matter of fact... but due to an unforeseen "AHHHHH!!" we had to cancel our annual trip to the PA farm show. We have gone for several years in a row, now...

    There is something to be said about a hot Belgium Waffle, and a scoop of cinnamon ice cream all drizzled with honey...

    These photos sure do make me feel like I've been there - and seriously, perhaps even saw more through these photos than in real life.

    Good job on your little {sweet} tater judges...who knew!! That is way fun!!

    1. Hi Bev, I was thinking of you when I posted this. I knew your guys liked going out there and I am sorry you weren't able to make it this year. :( We'll have to try those waffles next year. Thanks for the tip!

  3. This does look like a lot of do the most interesting things with your kids!

    1. Yup. Potato judging sure is interesting! ;)

  4. Hi Christy. I am glad you are blogging again. I have missed seeing the children. I saw your picture on your Grandmother's Facebook page and mentioned that I missed seeing them. Amy told me you were blogging again. The children have grown so much!
    I was impressed seeing their participation in the potato judging at the Farm Show!! Wow!!
    I didn't go to the Farm Show until I was in High school. And I really enjoyed it.
    Thank you for blogging again and letting me share in your family as they grow. Aunt Becky.


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