Winner spotlight: Sophia Diggs-Galligan

Meet Sophia Diggs-Galligan. She garnered both a Kids Poetry Contest first place ribbon for her age group and the first place prize over all for her poem “The Farmer.”

For this very first DC State Fair Kids Poetry Contest, youngsters in first through seventh grade from all over the city submitted their poetry on the topic of vegetables or gardens. We were stunned by everyone’s creativity. The final (and difficult) selection fell to our panel of esteemed judges.

The video shows Sophia reading her poem and keeping tremendous poise among the hubbub of the fair. Microphone assistance came from Kid Power‘s Grant Elliott and American Sign Language interpretation was courtesy of Birnbaum Interpreting Services. A transcript of the poem follows the jump. Continue reading “Winner spotlight: Sophia Diggs-Galligan”

Winner spotlight: Rachel Epstein-Shuman

We are pleased to introduce you to Rachel Epstein-Shuman, who took home a first place ribbon in the Kids Poetry Contest with “On the Steps of My Garden.”

For this very first DC State Fair Kids Poetry Contest, youngsters in first through seventh grade from all over the city submitted their poetry on the topic of vegetables or gardens. We were stunned by everyone’s creativity. The final (and difficult) selection fell to our panel of esteemed judges.

The video shows Rachel reading her poem on the morning of the fair, with microphone assistance from Kid Power‘s Grant Elliott and American Sign Language interpretation courtesy of Birnbaum Interpreting Services. A transcript of the poem follows the jump.

Continue reading “Winner spotlight: Rachel Epstein-Shuman”

Winner spotlight: Vivienne Rioux-Bailey

Baby Organic Carrots from Garden 10-6-09IMG_6718

We are pleased to introduce you to the work of Vivienne Rioux-Bailey, who took home a second place ribbon in the Kids Poetry Contest with her poem “Everybody Knows About Carrots.”

For this very first DC State Fair Kids Poetry Contest, youngsters in first through seventh grade from all over the city submitted their poetry on the topic of vegetables or gardens. We were stunned by everyone’s creativity. The final (and difficult) selection fell to our panel of esteemed judges (PDF).

Many thanks to Kid Power DC for their sponsorship of the contest!

Without further ado, here is the poem:

Vivienne Rioux-Bailey – Second Place, grades 4 and 5

Everybody Knows About Carrots

My cats Ping and Pong love them
While my friend despises them!
While a witch is putting them in her pot,
My mom’s probably not!
Carrots are good for your eyes.
They have a nice crunch and munch
While you’re training for your punch.
They’re crunchy like a Kit Kat
But healthy as can be (like peas)!
Crazy, crunchy cool as can be
A vicious and nutritious snack
A pop-in-the-mouth snack
So convenient my mother says
I like to say, “A carrot a day keeps the doctor away.”
Carrots are a nice and juicy snack for the road.
“Got Carrots” is a phrase you should say–especially today.
Remember bright stuff is always good for you, so EAT UP!

 Photo by Flickr user Steven Depolo

Contest: Kids’ Art

dried beans
Photo by Flickr user Kent Landerholm.

Dried pinto beans. Glue. A cereal box top. If you’ve got those three things lying around the house, you could have an entry in the Kids Art Contest this year. In partnership with Kid Power DC (www.kidpowerdc.org), the DC State Fair has created this competition to showcase the creativity of the District’s young ‘uns. Entries will be accepted at the Fair on Saturday, September 22, between 11 and 11:30 a.m., and winners will be announced by noon.

Why pinto beans and box tops? Well, the artwork must be made with dried legumes and found objects. We do this for the culinary fun of it, the joy of reusing things, and to give parents a break from all that back-to-school shopping.

All kids who live in the city of Washington DC and are entering kindergarten through 9th grade are eligible to enter.

So pick up a bag of dried beans and some Elmer’s, and start creating!

For more information and to register for the contest, go to the entry form.

Birnbaum Interpreting Services to provide ASL interpretation at the Fair

The DC State Fair is proud to announce sign language interpretation for the 2012 event. Interpretation is  donated by Birnbaum Interpreting Services, a Deaf-owned and operated company offering nationwide sign and spoken language interpreting and real-time transcription services for government, healthcare, legal, religious, business and entertainment environments.

ASL interpreters will be on hand throughout the event on September 22 to facilitate communication at our information booths with local businesses and organizations. Interpreters will also be available for announcements of contest winners. The Fair organizers are pleased to welcome D.C.’s Deaf community, and the campus community of Gallaudet University, which lies less than two miles from this year’s Fair.

Stop by the Birnbaum Interpreting Services table for more information, to find an interpreter, or just to say hello.

Kids’ Poetry Contest deadline extended

Kid in face paint
Photo by kaatjevervoort on Flickr

As our blog readers know, this year the DC State Fair is thrilled to offer two contests just for kids. And now the Kids’ Poetry Contest deadline has been extended to Friday, September 7! Yes, DC kids from Kindergarten to junior high age have an extra week to enter a poem (or create a brand new one) on the theme of vegetables or gardens.

Want to enter this or the Kids’ Art Contest with the theme “My Neighborhood”? Keep reading!

Kids’ Poetry Contest

The DC State Fair is proud to host the 2012 Kids’ Poetry Contest in partnership with Kid Power DC (www.kidpowerdc.org). Thanks to Writopia Lab DC (www.writopialab.org/writopia-washington-dc.html) for their help with the contest.

All kids who live in the city of Washington, DC and are entering kindergarten through 10th grade are eligible to enter. Read the guidelines below and then fill out the entry form.

Continue reading “Kids’ Poetry Contest deadline extended”

Where Did All Those Seedlings Go?

Back on May 5th, DC State Fair sponsored a seedling swap at the 14th & U Farmers’ Market. Novice and experienced gardens came together to trade seedlings and tips for making them grow. Do you think those tips worked? Check out the photos below, which include pics from our swap and the plants all grown up.

If you have any snapshots of your plants from the seedling swap, please post a link to the photos in the comments section!

Veggie Preservation Will Pickle Your Fancy

Our friends at Brainfood recently spent an evening preserving cucumbers and squash from their new garden in Mt. Vernon Square. Brainfood, an after-school program for high school students, uses food as a tool to build life skills in a fun and creative way. Their story is quite the full circle.  In June they built the garden plots and planted vegetables; August is harvest and pickling time; and come October, DC youth will use the vegetables in all sorts of recipes. From soil to food to education in just six months!

Do you wish your food told a story like that? The more common methods of preserving fresh vegetables – pickling, freezing, and fermenting – can be surprisingly easy. Whether it’s the produce of your garden, a fresh farmers’ market find, or something from your grocery store, many vegetables can be enjoyed year-round through some simple processes in your own kitchen. You can start out with everyone’s favorite, pickled cucumbers. After that, try out some the great, simple recipes at the end of this post.

Whether you’re a veteran or novice pickler, join us in the DC State Fair’s Prepared Foods contests! We have separate competitions for Cucumber Pickles, Other Vegetable Pickles, Fruit Pickles, and Fermented Vegetables.

Frozen Summer Squash

Extending the life of your fresh vegetables through freezing is one of the easiest ways to eat tasty produce year-round. The squash in this recipe is easily replaceable with zucchini, carrots, broccoli, spinach, or many of your other favorite vegetables. Adapted from a recipe at http://www.pickyourown.org.

  1. Cut any quantity of squash into ½ inch rounds or batonnets (like French fries).
  2. Blanch the squash in boiling water or steam for about 3 minutes.
  3. Cool the blanched squash quickly in an ice bath.
  4. Bag and freeze the squash. There are many methods out there, but one of the easiest is the Ziploc brand vacuum seal bags available in grocery stores. You can also use a regular freezer bag, but use a straw to suck out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.

Pickled Beets

There are few things more delicious than pickled beets. Adapted from a recipe at www.thespicehouse.com. Remember to fully sterilize your mason jars using boiling water.

  • 6 fresh beets
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tbsp. whole allspice
  • 1 Tbsp. whole cloves
  1. Wash the beets and remove any greens. Put them in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook until fork-tender. Remove skins once they’re cool enough to handle.
  2. Bring all other ingredients to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes. (If you don’t want the cinnamon sticks, allspice, or cloves in the final product, tie them up in a cheesecloth sack before boiling).
  3. Pack the beets into several mason jars.
  4. Pour the pickling liquid over the beets, ensuring that the beets are fully covered by liquid. Cover with the lid.
  5. If you plan to eat within a couple weeks, then just pop the jars in the refrigerator and wait a week. If you’d like to preserve them longer, use a water bath canner or pressure canner to seal them according to the canner’s instructions. 

Kimchi

This spicy, funky fermented cabbage is a mainstay in a ton of Korean dishes. Check out a great Kimchi recipe at Mark’s Daily Apple. Adjust the seasonings to taste – there’s no wrong way to do kimchi.

Kid Power brings delights big and small

DC State Fair executive committee members Ken and Rhea joined the Kid Power Harvest Dinner on August 2. The event, hosted by Fair sponsor Kid Power DC, wrapped up the program’s summer camp season. Family, friends, and community members were invited to enjoy kid-created dance, a poetry slam, and food that they grew and cooked themselves.

Guests feasted on vegetable goulash, fresh-baked kale chips, pesto pasta, chicken, and zucchini bread.

Dinner plate

Menu Continue reading “Kid Power brings delights big and small”

Kids’ Art and Writing contests

Kid in face paint
Photo by kaatjevervoort on Flickr

Calling all creative kids! The 2012 DC State Fair has two new contests just for the young ‘uns: The Kids’ Poetry Contest and the Kids’ Art Contest. Check them out and start spreading the word!

Kids’ Poetry Contest – For kids living in DC and entering kindergarten through 10th grade. Deadline: August 31, 2012. UPDATE: Deadline extended to Friday, September 7, 2012.

The DC State Fair is proud to host the 2012 Kids’ Poetry Contest in partnership with Kid Power DC. Thanks to Writopia Lab DC for their help with the contest. All kids who live in the city of Washington, DC and are entering kindergarten through 10th grade are eligible to enter. Read the guidelines below and then fill out the entry form.

2012 Kids’ Poetry Contest Guidelines

Poems can be up to 20 lines, in any style.

The theme should be vegetables or gardens. The poem does not have to completely focus on these topics. Be creative! Judges will choose winners from five different age groups (based on the grade the writer will enter in fall 2012).

How to submit (your choice!):

A) Electronic submissions (preferred method) — Cut and paste your poem into the entry form OR

B) Mail submissions — Send your typed or neatly hand-written poem to:

Kid Power DC, Inc.
Attn: Poetry Contest
755 8th Street NW Washington, DC 20001

Deadline to fill out the form or postmark your entry: Friday, August 31, 2012, at 4 PM Winners will win prizes and the chance to have their poems published on the DC State Fair and Kid Power DC websites. Winning writers will also be invited to read their work at the DC State Fair on Saturday, September 22.

Entering this contest is FREE!

To enter online, go to the entry form.

Kids’ Art Contest – For kids living in DC and entering kindergarten through 9th grade. Deadline: September 22 (at the Fair)

DC State Fair is proud to host the 2012 Kids Art Contest in partnership with Kid Power DC. All kids who live in the city of Washington DC and are entering kindergarten through 9th grade are eligible to enter. The artwork should include dried beans and found objects. (No need to buy any special art supplies!) So pick up a bag of black-eyed peas and a used penny–or any other beans and found objects–and start creating.

2012 Kids Art Contest Guidelines

Theme: “My Neighborhood” Art must include found objects (for example, coins or a twist tie) and dried beans (for example, black-eyed peas or kidney beans) to qualify. Feel free to use any additional materials you would like. Art can be 2 or 3 dimensional.

Contest winners will be judged on: Creativity (30%) Originality (30%) Relevance to theme: “My Neighborhood” (30%) Use of found objects and Legumes (10%)

All entries must be submitted at the Fair on Saturday, September 22, 2012 (drop-off and judging time to be determined). Be sure to sign up for the State of the Fair Newsletter, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or subscribe to our blog to find out details about this fall’s Fair! There will be a prize for each age group and the winners will be displayed on the Kid Power DC and DC State Fair websites. All entries must be picked up by the close of the State Fair if the artist wishes to keep them.

Entering this contest is FREE!

To enter, go to the entry form.