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Sunday in the Kitchen 8/6/23 -- The Actual Entries are in for the State Fair!

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

23 Canned Goods and 8 Vegetables entered into the Illinois State Fair for 2023!

I know, you're saying, "That's GREAT! ... but why should I care?" Today's post is about two things: 1) Tiger Gardens raising our standards, and 2) Why that's important to you! As a customer at the Farmer's Market and a follower of our progress on this website, our Facebook group, our new Instagram account, or our new YouTube channel, entering the State Fair is a win-win: it benefits us in terms of hardware (ribbons of all colors!) and it benefits you in terms of raising our standards. Let me break down both.


Raising Our Standards -- starts with -- winning ribbons!


Just the process of entering products in the county and state fairs forces us to check every detail of our canned goods -- headspace, lid seals and conditions, jar cleanliness after processing, labels, recipes, and ingredients -- this is intense competition, and we're competing with the Linda Skeens of the world, so wish us luck! But I remember after we won our first county fair competition in 2019. The very next time I made the recipe for Squash Relish, I had to take a moment and really consider what I was doing! I mean ... now I'm a purple ribbon winner, and that means something!


Why That's Important to You


Because it causes us to be more detail oriented. When you receive an award, you now have to live up to that award's standards, so the conversation in my head sounds like this, "I can't just handwrite that label, I'm a 1st Place Winner now!" And so I push myself to create a nice printed lable that looks a little more professionally produced, which, for the customer means there is better information on the label that's easier to read! Ribbon-winners are also customer favorites, so we make more of it. E.g., we might not always have your favorite flavor of tomato salsa, but by golly -- we'll always have Grilled Peach Salsa because it was the Grand Champion Winner in 2019!


Here are our results from the 2023 Champaign County Fair. Tim's Pickled Okra has now won 1st Place TWO YEARS IN A ROW!! And one of those 2nd Place ribbons is Sue's for Sun-Dried Tomato Merlot Medium Salsa!


Wish us luck this week at State!

~Sue and Tim Tiger



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