Exhibition Hall

The Exhibition Hall is a beloved hub of the Common Ground Country Fair. For gardeners, growers, seed savers and eaters, the Hall provides delight in the year’s harvest and inspiration to take home for next year’s season.
This year, growers throughout the state sent in photographs of their crops. As you browse, keep an eye out for all the beautiful submissions from school gardens, as well as those harvests that won the coveted Judges’ Award.
We hope you enjoy this digital Hall and maybe even discover a new variety you want to grow!

Alliums

Beans & Peas

Bouquets & Displays

Brassicas

Cherry Tomatoes

Cucurbits

Dry Beans

Flowers

Fruit

Herbs

Hot Peppers

Houseplants

Peppers

Pollinators

Potatoes

Root Vegetables

Tomatoes

Winter Squash, Pumpkins, & Gourds

Nightshades

Odds & Ends

Oddities

Judges’ Award Winners

Aunt Mollie’s Ground Cherries by Walker Elementary School

Cascadia snap pea by Anne Warner

FEDCO Gigante Kohlrabi by Barbara Klie: Barbara says she likes growing this variety because, "It gets big. It's the only variety I've ever grown, and I think this was the 3rd year of growing it." Barbara has the following growing tips: "I started it probably in April and transplanted it when approximately 3" tall. Kept it watered, but did nothing else special. It got lots of sun. The kohlrabi that got the award was finally picked around the beginning of Oct. We had not had a frost yet. It weighed in at 16.2 pounds with the leaves on, and 11 pounds when I cut off the leaves and stems. I've not yet cut it up (will I need an axe?), but intend to weigh it again after peeling it." In terms of processing and eating, Barbara says, "Nancy Rosalie taught me how to ferment kohlrabi - very nice. I also make a very simple salad with it that I had at Trader Joe's demo area once - grate the kohlrabi, add some of their spicy peanut sauce (it is refrigerated in their produce area), and add dried cranberries and cashews. No measurements - just do it however it tastes best to you. I also very much enjoy the greens, which are large and abundant. Use them fresh as any green, maybe cooking longer than kale, more like collards. I also boil them for 3 - 4 minutes, dump them in cold water, then chop them up and freeze them." This variety was sourced from Fedco.

Sweet 100 tomatoes by Marsha and Michael Sloan

Tronchuda Cabbage plant by Martha Gottlieb

Blue Coco Pole Bean by Luana Sena

Crego mix asters & State Fair Zinnias by Jeffrey Mabee: Jeffrey says, "I love growing asters because they make wonderful cut flowers, flower all summer and survive early light frosts." His advice for growing asters is "start seeds early or, better yet, find a grower who has them!!" He also mentions "I have begun to grow many of my cut flowers through two "floors" of netting or crisscrossed string. I think asters would benefit from this method." Jeffrey notes: "I believe I got these from Ferry-Morse ($2). Johnny's has some interesting asters."

Garlic Music by New Maple Master Gardeners

Kellogg's Breakfast Tomato by David Frankel: David likes growing this variety because it's "an open pollinated large slicer with a delicious and distinctive flavor." He adds: "We discovered this variety when a child chose it for "k" in an "abc" garden back in the 1990's and have been growing it ever since. Likely because of it's acidity level and taste, It is the only large tomato my spouse will eat." If you plan to grow it, remember that the plant "needs support for the large heavy tomatoes it yields." David says those tomatoes are "perfect for large juicy slices in a sandwich or burger, also great in salads." He sources this variety from Pine Tree Garden Seeds.

Shallots Zebrune by New Maple Master Gardeners

Velour filet bean by Anne Warner

Blue Hubbard by Charley Martin-Berry: Jake, Raven, and Charley like growing this variety because, "It keeps well. It's a traditional variety. And, it was Jake's dad's favorite." If you plan to grow this variety, they advise, "They grow well in hills full of manure and seaweed. It's important to mulch them. They love water. And, you've got to keep the deer from eating the blossoms, or you'll get nothing." The seed is sourced from Fedco.

Floriani Red Flint Corn, Italian by Amy Frances LeBlanc

Gentry summer squash by Anne Warner

Plum- Stanley by Rosey Guest

Rosa Bianca eggplant by Sandra Swatsky: Sandra likes growing this variety because, "it's a beautiful fruit, white streaked with lavender and almost round. The flesh is not seedy and it cooks up creamy, mild, and delicious." For those thinking about growing this variety, Sandra reports, "I've had the best luck growing my eggplants, (and peppers) in a small hoop house." She sources this variety from Fedco and notes two earlier-ripening varieties she likes are Galine (Fedco) and Barbarella (Johnny's Selected Seeds). She also has this preparation tip: "I make Eggplant Parmesan using the recipe from "The New Best Recipe" cookbook by the editor's of Cook's Illustrated. I freeze the crispy, baked, prepped eggplant rounds and have an easy dinner choice in the middle of winter."

Broccoli Density by Valerie Jackson

Red Ruffle Pimento by Amy Frances LeBlanc

Mixed Lettuce - Red Romaine, Olga Romaine, Salad Bowl, Merlot, Concept Batvian, Marshall Iceberg by Matthew Dubois: Matthew likes growing these because they are "mixed types that are ready in succession." For those looking to grow these, he says, "I transplant individual seedlings into cell packs, so when planted to garden you get nice large heads. Also, plant on the back side of pea trellis - helps provide partial shade and reduce bolting." Matthew reports that "both Fedco Seeds and Johnny's Select Seeds have a good selection of lettuce and greens of all types" and adds, "if you want to save lettuce seed when it bolts - plant just one variety."

National Pickling Cucumbers by Walker Elementary School

Succulents by Ronie Strout Ronie says, "Find a succulent that you like and plant it. I have moved this into my house for three years in a row so it would not die during the winter. " Ronie first bought the plant from Simon's Vegetable Farm in Ellsworth, Maine.

Sweet Dakota Rose Watermelon by Erica Rudloff

Watermelon Radishes by Walker Elementary School

Caballero Ancho/Poblano Hot Pepper by Martha Fenn King Martha reports, "This is the first year growing this beauty. Use plenty of compost and check for pH as they like to grow at about 5.5 - 6.5. Perhaps you need to raise or lower the pH of your soil. Start the seeds in March or April and set out in the garden early June or after threat of frost. They love full sun and may need to be staked as they grew tall and bushed out. They do turn red, but this takes about 84 days. " Martha also shares how she has used this variety so far: "Dehydrated this poblano along with Jimmy Nardello. A work in progress; will let you know in the middle of the winter. We have thrown it chopped or sliced into sauces or salads. Would be more appetizing stuffed and mature when red." Martha sourced this variety from Fedco and says, "The deep and shiny green colors of this pepper make it amazingly eye appealing. "

Jerusalem Artichoke, Dahlia, Cockscomb, Fireworks Pennisetum, Goblin Gaillardia, Cockscomb by Mary Davis

Otto's Thrill Dahlia by Martha Fenn King: Martha says, "I like growing ALL the dahlias. Actually, I love all the cut flowers!" To grow these, Martha advises, "Add compost and prepare the soil by hand digging or tilling. I usually wait for the soil to warm up to about 60 F, plant the tubers about 4 inches deep, then stake them or tie to the fence when they are sending up the stems. During the drought I had to soak the roots at least one time per week. After light frost, dig them out, dust off some soil and store in bins that have some air circulation where they will not freeze. Be sure the stems are trimmed fairly close to the root. If you wish to remember the names, mark them while in bloom and tie the name to the stem. Store the same varieties in one bin and mark the bin with description/name." She reminds us that Dahlias "add color in August - October until the frost takes them."

Ocimum kilimandscaricum , Camphor Basil by Martha Gottlieb

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