Ascension Parish Vegetable Garden Contest Winners

Craig Roussel Horticulture Agent, Ascension/St. James Parishes

The LSU AgCenter Ascension Parish Home Vegetable Garden Contest was held in May 2016. Five adults and three 4-H Youth participated in the contest. Additionally, this year there was a School Garden category in conjunction with the ‘Greauxing Gardens’ School Garden grant from PCS Nitrogen for 14 primary and middle schools in Ascension Parish. Eight of the 14 schools participated in the contest. Judging was conducted by Ascension Parish Master Gardeners and criteria included record keeping – 30 points, insect control – 15 points, weed control – 15 points, disease control 15 points, productivity – 15 points, site selection – 10 points, and varieties recommended by the LSU AgCenter – up to 10 bonus points.

Record keeping is a critically important step in gardening because it allows producers to provide information to extension agents, chemical company representatives, or LDAF field agents if problems arise. Additionally, gardeners can refer back to their records from year to year to anticipate what problems to expect and when to expect them. It is also good to have records about which varieties of vegetables performed well and which ones did not.

Home gardening provides a source of fresh, healthy vegetables for family consumption, as well as some cash from excess produce. Caring for a vegetable garden provides physical exercise for youth and adults and continuous learning experiences.

The Ascension Farm Bureau and Ascension Master Gardener Association sponsored the awards for the Garden Contest for 2016. Preparations are underway for next year’s garden contest and field day.

2016 Ascension Parish LSU AgCenter Vegetable Garden Contest winners

4-H Youth:

1st Place – Sean Turner - $50 Cash Award and 1st Place Plaque

2nd Place – Ava Andermann-Moran - 2nd Place Plaque

3rd Place – Beau Rachal - 3rd Place Plaque

Adult Small Garden:

1st Place – Patti Campo - $50 Cash Award and 1st Place Plaque

2nd Place – George Spruill - 2nd Place Plaque

Adult Medium Garden:

1st Place – Dale Falcon - $50 Cash Award and 1st Place Plaque

2nd Place – Mika Whitaker - 2nd Place Plaque

Adult Large Garden:

1st Place – Ronald Daigle - $50 Cash Award and 1st Place Plaque

School Garden Contest:

1st Place - Gonzales Middle School - 1st Place Plaque and Pizza Party

2nd Place - St. Amant Primary – 2nd Place Plaque

3rd Place - Central Primary – 3rd Place Plaque