Girl wins with beans, tomatoes

CANNING COMES NATURALLY

August 03, 1993|By Anne Haddad and Amy Miller | Anne Haddad and Amy Miller,Staff Writers

A blue ribbon adorned the neck of the Mason jar where Amanda Boyd's dilled string beans were packed in vertical rows, all the same length and reaching just to the lid.

She won reserve grand champion in the canning competition for scoring second-highest overall with her beans and tomatoes at the Carroll County 4-H and FFA Fair, which opened Sunday at the Agricultural Center on Smith Road.

Amanda, 14, of Westminster, grew the beans herself. She got another award for her canned tomato juice, from tomatoes that ripened in her garden just in time for her to do some last-minute canning before the fair opened.

"It's like a family tradition," said Amanda, who has been canning for half her life. "My great-grandmother was really into it."

Canning judges rated Amanda's vegetables only on their

texture, color, uniformity and maturity. They did not taste any.

"Too dangerous," said judge Charlotte Duff. Not that Amanda doesn't know what she's doing, but judges can't trust all the entrants to have followed the right procedures to eliminate harmful yeast or bacteria, such as botulinus.

Jams and jellies do get tasted, however, because longer cooking lowers the chance of contamination, Ms. Duff said.

About 650 Carroll County youths 8 through 18 years old have entered this year's fair with some 11,000 exhibits, ranging from posters about bicycle safety to lambs ready for slaughter.

The fair will continue through Saturday night.

Judges awarded prizes yesterday in categories such as clothing, canning, menu planning, field crops, tractor driving, natural resources and lamb carcasses.

The carcass judging yesterday was only the first part -- with the animal still alive. The animals were taken off to local butcher shops for slaughter, after which the quality of the meat will be judged by the end of August.

Other animals, such as beef cattle, sheep and swine, arrived at the barns. Judges weighed and entered them for showing and judging the rest of the week.

In the natural resources category, judges were South Carroll High School science teacher Robert Foor-Hogue and art teacher Terry Eckard.

Mr. Foor-Hogue said exhibitors had to have intimate knowledge of their subject matter. He and Ms.Eckard quizzed entrant Ashley Syzmanski, 10, about her shell collection. They asked where she got each shell and what the inhabiting animal was like.

"I think the sea horse is neat, because they are vice versa," Ashley said, explaining that it is the male that gets pregnant.

She said she also was impressed with the sea cucumber, which "spits out its insides" to scare predators, such as crabs.

A category for general exhibits gave youths a chance to develop projects on any topic. Josh Kibler, 14, of Westminster entered three safety-oriented posters, one each on bicycling, all-terrain vehicle riding and being a 4-H safety officer, which he is.

Jenny Brothers, 15, of Gamber, won grand champion for clothing with a three-piece suit she made from a pattern. The mauve-and-white suit consisted of a flowered pair of shorts and halter top, with a striped jacket.

Yesterday's humid, hot weather made for a rather uncomfortable day at the fair and led to two people fainting -- an 11-year-old girl and a newspaper reporter. Both recovered quickly.

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