La Plata County gardeners to display bounty at county fair

Friday, July 27, 2018 9:05 PM

Editor’s note: Get Growing, written by the La Plata County Extension Office’s Master Gardener Program, appears during the growing season. It features timely tips and suggestions for your garden and landscape.By Deb Paulson

County fairs have long served as a celebration for community members to come together and display their skills and the abundance of the place they’ve made their home.

A good county fair takes a lot of work and wide participation, with numerous entries of animals, produce, flowers, baked and canned goods, sewing, photography and, of course, Legos and rockets.

This year’s La Plata County Fair, to be held Aug. 8-12, gives us all a chance to show our resilience in this challenging year dominated by drought, fire and debris flows.

The Horticulture Room is an especially inviting place at the fair, and not only because it is air-conditioned. Seeing what we can grow gives us a sense of pride and well-being. This year has turned out to be a bountiful year for fruit, and most vegetable, herb and flower gardens have produced something of interest.

Those with an artistic flair can enter fruit, flower, herb or vegetable displays, including Mr. Potato Head vegetable creations and the popular fairy garden. There is also a best scarecrow contest, with the winner selected by the votes of visitors to the room.

Part of the fun for visitors to the Horticulture Room is seeing the many varieties of vegetables and flowers we can grow in La Plata County. There is no limit to the number of entries a person can have, so bring your green, purple and yellow beans. Bring the name of varieties if you have them. Heirlooms are especially encouraged, and special ribbons are given for heirloom fruits and vegetables.

Entries will be accepted from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 8 at the west entry to the Exhibit Hall at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave. Bring address labels, if possible, to speed registration.

Display categories have separate youth and adult sections, but for most categories, adults and youths are judged together. Details about entry categories are in the 2018 fair book, available at the La Plata County Extension Office or at

Whether you enter or not, don’t miss the Horticulture Room upstairs in the Exhibit Hall. All visitors may enter a drawing for a collection of garden supplies.

Deb Paulson has been a Colorado Master Gardener since 2013. She lives in La Plata County.