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Milton holds first vegetable contest in 100 years

Posted by Natalie Feulner  August 16, 2012 04:39 PM

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The heaviest zucchini at the Milton vegetable contest. View more photos from the vegetable showdown here.

For zucchinis grown in Milton, size matters. At least it did on Thursday, when the first vegetable contest in 100 years was held at the weekly farmers market.

About 20 residents brought tomatoes, beans, peppers, summer squash, and yes, giant zucchinis, to the contest which was open to backyard and community garden growers.

Organizers said this year’s contest, part of the year-long 350th anniversary celebration, commemorates Milton’s history as a farming town and was a fun way to involve the community in growing fresh food.

“Its a great way for people to realize that it’s easy to grow vegetables at home,” Nancy Chisholm said.

A similar vegetable contest was held at the town's 250th anniversary, and a photo from 1911 showed another contest in which hundreds of vegetables were submitted and judged at town hall.

Vegetables Thursday were judged by local growers, including one farmer from Milton. Prizes were awarded based on quality, flavor, coloring, shape, and uniformity.

In the case of the zucchinis, the top prize was awarded to the heaviest zucchini, which weighed in at 5.39 pounds.

Janet Christiansen, who proposed the contest, said she thought it was a great way to celebrate the town’s 350th anniversary. She said she was pleased with the number of people who submitted vegetables and that she'd heard a lot of positive feedback.

“This is really the first time we’ve done something like this, and it’s had a great response so far.

Chisholm said she hopes the contest is something Miltonians young and old can look forward to every year.

“It’s a great way to tap into another group in the community - the gardeners … from the wee tots to the seniors,” she said.

Natalie Feulner can be reached at natalie.feulner@gmail.com.

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