Preparing Carrots and Beets for Exhibition

today we’re talking about exhibiting root
crops at the fair and specifically both beets and carrots in both cases what we’re looking for are
uniform sizes shapes and color so be sure that you have the same variety when
you are exhibiting them i’m gonna start with the carrots and what we’re looking
for are those that are going to be all of the similar length and similar color as they get larger, sometimes
they get a little bit misshapen and a little bit tough I’m going to select out five that look fairly close in size and then we will prep them for the exhibit ideally the roots on all of them will be left on. the tap root should be left on and then we’re going
to trim the tops so these are fairly close in size it got
a little bit of crookiness to them when you dig them from the garden
obviously they’re going to be dirty you don’t want to do a lot of over cleanliness to them but just
simply taking a sponge and some water will help to clean them
often simply want to just remove the dirt that is on that carrot being careful not to scrub too much if you do need to use a soft brush of any kind be careful
because if you scrub too hard with it what you’re going to do is destroy
the epidermis of that carrot and they’re not going to have the nice appearance that
they should so cleaning should be to minimum So I have selected my five carrots and i’m
going to use thrm for the exhibit. the next thing to do for them is to trim the tops that typically the tops are going to be
anywhere from one to two inches. before the exhibit be sure that you
check the rules of the fair books that you find out. So simply taking scissors i’m going to cut the tops off you might want to take a ruler but trimming the tops to that same way and again you want to have them as even
as possible i can also see that i’ve got a little
bit of debris on them so I’m going to take a rag and clean up after that put them on the
plate that’s going to remove some of the leaves and some of the dirt that it is on there again making sure as i look at that
exhibit to pull off any dead leaves that might be on there or any
extraneous debris double-checking again my tops I can see
that I have a little bit of dead on there the judge is going to notice all of this
they are going to take the time to look at those exhibits check to make sure that you prepped them as best as possible again it’s all about show If you make that plate look as good as
you can that’s the first impression the judge is
going to see so those are my carrots and I’m going to set
those aside now I’m going to move over to my beets again we’re looking for those that are
of similar size shape and color typically with beets what we’re looking for is
a beet that is about two to three inches in diameter if you keep them in the ground too long
they’re going to get larger and what happens is they get very tough very
woody and actually if you cut the inside of
that beet it’s going to have white rings on the inside so usually smaller sizes are preferred it’s a kind of a misconception, a lot of
people think that if they let the vegetables get as big as possible that’s the ideal but actually it’s not
there are sort of guidelines of how vegetables
should be exhibited So on a beat what we are typically looking
for is one that has the tap root still attached to
it similar to the carrots even though it might have a little bit of damage
to it. Im going to trim that up just a little bit clean it up and then as with the carrots what we’re
going to do is we’re going to trim those tops to where they are one to two inches
so i’m going to do these at approximately one edge make sure that you take something, a scissors or a sharp knife or shears
and make sure that you cut that cleanly i’ve got a few stems that are hanging here
just a little bit loosely so i’m going to pull those off as with the carrots simply cleaning them with a sponge and
some water is the way to go to remove the excess dirt that is on there. you wanna avoid again using a brush too hard because you’re gonna wind up scraping
the skin and that’s going to be a fault So I’m going to finish with the rest of the beets
that i have here this one has a little bit of dirt to it, so
I’m going to wash that up just a little bit to take that off of there and then the next step would be to dry
that so that they are not too wet This has some few debris leaves at the top and then i’m going to trim the tops to
my one inch The tap root again is left on; it isn’t taken off of
there going to work on my third beet again trimming the top to about one-inch those look fairly clean you can either line your vegetables
up or stack them as i’m going to do.
again your goal is to try to make that plate look as good as possible for the
judge and then i finish up with my fifth beet. that looks fairly clean so those are my
five beets they’re lacking a little bit in uniformity for sizes but hopefully the
judge might overlook that with the preparation that i’ve done so those are some tips for giving you some ideas for getting root crops such as carrots and beets
ready for your blue ribbon at the fair

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