The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

July 1, 2013

Entries urged for state-record fruit, vegetables

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 lbs., 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 in., Nathan Milburn Sharp, 2009

— Stalk of corn, 13 ft. 2 in., Nathan Milburn Sharp, 2009

— Cucumber, 41 in., Howard Hager/Ann Buggington

 

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