A look back at county contest, show

A look back at county contest, show

Local gardeners have had high hopes and entered the Jefferson County Fruit, Herb and Vegetable Show for 40 years running. This year’s winners did not disappoint. Jefferson County Horticultural Committee members and Jefferson County Master Gardeners deserve all the credit for another year of this wonderful event.

Ricky Thompson, County Extension Agent, Agriculture, said gardeners and their questions have been literally coming in for months, but nothing can compare to the hundreds of questions and comments received last month at Central Mall in Port Arthur at the 40th annual show. Sponsored jointly by Central Mall Merchants Association, Jefferson County Horticulture Committee, area nurserymen, Jefferson County Master Gardener’s Association and the Jefferson County office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, the show attracted top-notch gardeners from all over of the Golden Triangle to compete for ribbons, prizes and money.

The five categories attracting the “cream of the crop” in homegrown produce were vegetables, fruits, herbs and processed vegetables and fruits, and the largest tomato. A total of 165 entries were judged for quality and uniformity. Ten judges were selected to hammer through the picture-perfect entries to search for any speck that might be considered a reason for a lower score. The best vegetable, best fruit and best processed product were selected to win a gorgeous triple streamer rosette from the Jefferson County Horticulture Committee. The best herb winner also received a $25 cash prize compliments of the Jefferson County Master Gardener’s Association. A $25 gift certificate was given for the largest tomato, and another $25 gift certificate was given for Best of Show.

The winners in each of the four categories are as follows:


  • • The best vegetable award was taken by Kenny Johnson of LaBelle for his cucumbers.
  • • The best fruit award was won by Maxie Harris Jr. of Nederland his peaches.
  • • The best processed food was cooked-up by Donna Hopkins of Kountze. Her entry was pickled beets.
  • • The best herb category was taken by Joe Maggio of Nederland for his garlic chives.
  • • Best of Show was awarded to Donna Hopkins for her pickled beets.
  • • The ever-popular biggest tomato contest was won Jo Williams of Port Arthur.

Door prizes ranging from sprinklers to sprayers to hanging baskets to gift certificates were given by area nurserymen.

Thompson said thanks go out to the sponsors who made the show possible again this year, and thanks to the Jefferson County Horticulture Committee members and the Jefferson County Master Gardeners for working the show and to the 10 judges who laboriously selected winners.

Joette is an avid gardener and prides  herself on staying up-to-date on the latest gardening activities and tips. To share your gardening news with Joette, call (409) 832-1400 or fax her at (409) 832-6222. Her e-mail is joreger [at] msn [dot] com.