The LSU Ag Center’s St. James Garden Contest winners were announced at Tomato Field Day, held June 13 at the Millet family (T-Black, etc.) farm in Paulina.
Well over 100 people came to see the results of the contests and the variety trial, all made possible by St. James Farm Bureau financial support. They were also able to hear talks and see hands-on exhibits from LSU specialists, as well as participating in a field tour.
The variety trial compared several tomato, cucumber, and pepper varieties grown at the Millet farm. General comparisons were discussed; including yields, plant vigor, disease resistance, and of course taste. Participants voted on the best-tasting tomato, with ‘Bush Goliath’ taking first place. ‘Creole’ was voted second-best tasting, followed by ‘German Johnson,’ an heirloom variety.
Most varieties of bell pepper and cucumber performed well, and there was some discussion of varietal differences. Among bell peppers, ‘California Wonder’ seemed least productive. Cucumbers were all similar, except that ‘Martini,’ a white cucumber, seemed to produce further into the hot, humid season than others.
The Biggest Tomato Contest is always exciting and this year’s winner was Elton Chenier of South (Back) Vacherie with a 1.68 lb. ‘Big Beef’ tomato. He took home a cash reward, provided by St. James Farm Bureau. Plaques for garden contest winners were also sponsored by St. James Farm Bureau and handed out at Tomato Field Day. The garden contest was judged in late May by Master Gardener volunteers.
All garden participants made an excellent showing and the judges were extremely impressed. St. James Farm Bureau also sponsored a meal for the event, which was prepared by Ricky Millet leading a helpful crew.
The LSU Ag Center expressed gratitude to all the people behind the scenes who made it a success, including those who participated in the contests, field tour and lectures.
Winners of the 2019 St. James LSU Ag Center Vegetable Garden Contest:
4-H / Youth Gardens
1st Place – Janie LeBlanc
2nd Place – Camryn Chauvin
3rd Place – Michael and Brayden Krumholt
4-H / School Gardens
Cypress Grove Academy (Becky Louque)
St. Peter Chanel (Kathy Guidry)
Adult – Small Gardens
1st Place – Mona Borne
2nd Place – Gerard Roper
Adult – Medium Gardens
1st Place – Willy Martin Sr.