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”

Accepting applications for the Executive Committee and Board of Directors

If you’re a fan of the DC State Fair, you now have a chance to get to know us even better.

We are seeking three to four new members of the DC State Fair Executive Committee, as well as two new board members. Most Board members will serve on the Executive Committee, but they will have the added responsibility (and glory!) of directing the entire Fair’s efforts for 2013.

If you have nonprofit management experience, a knack for fundraising, deep roots in the District, a community development and engagement background, or just a passion to bring agricultural, culinary, and arts education to the community to develop and encourage neighborly showcasing of talent and competition, then we want you to apply! Continue reading “Accepting applications for the Executive Committee and Board of Directors”

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.

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”

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.

The Fair’s New Board

After two years of successes-despite-adversity, the Board terms of the original co-founders of DC State Fair are over, opening up room for new enthusiasts to help shape the agriculture-, craft-, culinary-, and community-celebrating organization.

We are pleased to welcome to our ranks three new board members! They will join current Board members David Manuel and Sylvie Nguyen to help make DC State Fair bigger and better than ever!

You can meet some of the old and new Board members at the DC State Fair information booth at Rooting DC this Saturday.

Rhea Kennedy

A resident of the District since 2003, Rhea Yablon Kennedy has indulged her passion for food by working as a cook and private chef, growing vegetables, and writing about it for regional and national publications. She has also been involved with the sustainable food and environmental justice organizations DC Food for All and Etz Chayim DC. Kennedy teaches English and general studies at Gallaudet University, where she is excited to introduce a course on sustainable food in DC in spring 2012. She also looks forward to returning to her plot at the Blair Road Community Garden. Find her writing clips, thoughts on writing, and the occasional weeding metaphor at rheakennedy.com.

Nicole Donnelly

Nicole Donnelly is originally from New Jersey, but her time in DC (and the surrounding area) is quickly approaching the number of years she lived in her home state. She taught herself to can in 2000 in order to accommodate her obsessive tendency to cram her freezer full of tomato sauce every tomato season. At the request of friends, she used this new-found skill to produce pickles and jams to rave reviews. In 2010 she solidified her knowledge and obtained certification as a Master Food Preserver through the Cooperative Extension System. She has shared her passion for pickling through teaching others how to can, volunteering with the DC State Fair, and appearing on the Kojo Nnamdi Show to discuss pickling. When not preserving food, Nicole can be found knitting, cooking, or riding her bike. She shares the details of these passions in her blogs Gin and Pickles and Pedal ‘n Purl. In order to finance her hobbies, Nicole spends her days preserving data as Computer Forensics and Electronic Discovery Consultant for an international consulting firm.

Julie Moeller

Julie Moeller loves the DC State Fair, especially after walking home from the 2010 event with the Blue Ribbon for best pie. A Chicago native, Julie arrived in DC almost 20 years ago to work on Capitol Hill. Neither she, nor the rural Massachusetts native she met here, thought they would live in the area long. Both quickly fell in love with all the area has to offer and are proud Washingtonians – along with their three terrific kids. Until recently, Julie served a national nonprofit as a VP of government affairs. She left her full-time position to attend to young children and work as a consultant. She and her husband tend bees, harvest veggies from a community garden on Capitol Hill, and keep a square-foot garden in a back alley plot. Long train commutes to New Jersey for work drove Julie to learn knitting, and she’s recently taken up sewing. Julie is a self-taught baker who shows affection through food – and she is lucky to have many friends to feed.

2011 DC State Fair: August 27 at Columbia Heights Day!

The DC State Fair board members and volunteers are excited to announce the date and location for this year’s DC State Fair. We are proudly returning to Columbia Heights Day, which will take place on Saturday, August 27th, at Tubman Elementary Field (11th and Kenyon Streets NW).  Mark your calendars!

This year we’ll have more tents, more contests, and our own DC State Fair mini-stage where we’ll taste the best DC has to offer. Keep checking back here (www.dcstatefair.org) for announcements of contest categories and deadlines, plus news on how to become a vendor at the 2011 DC State Fair.

The DC State Fair celebrates the home-grown talents of DC’s residents. We invite the community to come join in the fun as bakers, gardeners, crafters, photographers, and home-brewers compete to win prizes and glory!

The DC State Fair could not happen without the support of our members. We need your help, DC! To become a member, click here. Individual membership is only $20 and organizational membership starts at $100. Thanks to all our members for helping make DC State Fair a success.

An Award Winning Pie


Pies at the DC State Fair. Photo by Bryan Applegate of Food Newsie.

I think the pie contest was my favorite DC State Fair contest. First of all, the pies that people entered were absolutely gorgeous – some featured beautiful lattice work, others featured cut-outs of the DC State Flag, and some were beautiful simply because of their bright and colorful filling ingredients.

Lindsey, of The Things We Eat, had one of those beautiful and delicious pies – her “Fruits of the Forest” pie was our third place winner. It features, what else, fruits of the forest – apples, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, all encased in a flaky (and vegan) pie crust. I had a slice of this myself, and I have to say it was delicious – the flavors of the fruit really sung, and married together beautifully. I also had no idea it was a vegan pie, so kudos to Lindsey for her excellent vegan crust making skills.

Lindsey was kind enough to share her recipe with us, and I’m oh-so-excited to be able to re-post it!

Fruits of the Forest Pie Adapted from The Things We Eat

For the pie crust
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening, chilled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup ice water

For the Filling
1/2 cup sugar
4 heaping tbs cornstarch
2 medium apples (gala, I think), peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups strawberries, thinly sliced
2 cups blueberries
1 cup raspberries

In a medium bowl, blend the flour and salt. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter fork, or your fingers, until the fat is in pea-sized chunks. Add 1/4 cup of the water and blend. Keep adding the water in 1 tsp increments until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, cut in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Let chill in the refrigerator until firm – at least one hour.

In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch until combined. Place apples, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture over the fruit and gently toss until fruit is evenly coated with the sugar mixture.

Remove one disk of the dough from the refrigerator and roll between lightly floured pieces of parchment paper until 1/8 inch thick. Place in a lightly greased 9 inch pie pan and gently press into the corners and sides of the pan with your fingers. Trim off excess dough, leaving a 1/2 inch overhang. Place fruit filling in dough, smoothing out the mixture so that it lies evenly in the crust. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to three hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Remove the second disk of dough from the refrigerator and roll between lightly floured pieces of parchment paper until 1/8 inch thick (it should be slightly larger than the diameter of the pie). Freeze for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from freezer and, using a ruler and straight edge, slice the dough into 1 inch strips. Place strips over pie in a lattice pattern. Cut off lattice excess so that it is even with the edge of the pan. Fold over overhang from the bottom, to form a neat edge. Crimp edges with a fork, or your fingers. Lightly brush lattice and crust with egg wash and sprinkle with extra sugar. To help relax the pastry and help the pie hold its shape, refrigerate for at least one hour.

Line edges of the pie with tin foil and bake pie for 25-35 minutes. Unwrap edges and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the juices in the center of the pie bubble thickly. Let cool on a rack before serving.

A Cherpumple Auction At the DC State Fair Bake Sale

Have you heard about cherpumple – the pie baked in a cake monstrosity that’s the turducken of the dessert world? Well, in case you need a refresher, it’s ridiculous – it’s a pumpkin pie baked in a spice cake, apple pie baked in a yellow cake, and cherry pie baked in white cake, held together with cream cheese icing. It’s a sick, excessive, fascinating spectacle.

Well, now you can have your very own. Victoria from The District Chocoholic will be making a cherpumple for the DC State Fair Bake Sale this Saturday (November 20th) at the 14th and U Farmer’s Market. I, for one, want to see if it can be done. And I think DC’s general public is as strangely fascinated with this dessert as I am.

Since we can’t sell it by the slice (everything has to be pre-packaged, and I don’t think the cherpumple will hold up to slicing very well), we’re going to auction it off. All the proceeds will benefit the DC State Fair – to help us incorporate as a 501(c)3 nonprofit and bring you a bigger, better State Fair in 2011.

Please enter your cherpumple “bids” in the comment section of this post on ModernDomestic. You can “up” your bid by leaving an additional comment.

So how much do you want to experience the cherpumple? How much do you think DC needs a state fair? How much do you want to bring a cherpumple to Thanksgiving dinner (it will totally keep in the freezer if stored in an airtight container). I’ll be taking bids up until 11:00 pm (eastern) time on Thursday, November 18, and announcing the winner on Friday, the 19th. The winner can pick up the cherpumple between 9am and 1 pm at the DC State Fair bake sale at the 14th and U Farmer’s market on November 20th.

I’m starting the bids at $20. Bidding starts . . . NOW. And many, many thanks to our stalwart and adventurous cherpumple baker Victoria!!