June 15, 2010

First Ripe Champion Tomato – 2010

The fourth annual ‘First Ripe Tomato in Champion Contest’ came to its conclusion on June 12th, 2010, when Emerson Rose Oglesby brought her Grandmother Karen Krider’s beautiful little Delicious tomato to Henson’s Store.  Contest rules require the winning tomato to have been grown in Champion and to be eaten by the judges.  The tomato was indeed judged to be ripe and it was  shared out among the various judges in attendance.  It was small but quite tasty.  This is the earliest winning date in the history of the contest and the list of prizes had not yet been announced.  For her efforts Ms. Krider will receive an antique fruit jar, two dozen canning jar flats, and six tickets (valued at $5.00) for the Skyline VFD Picnic Quilt.  She’s a Champion!

Two year old Emerson happened to be visiting with her Grammy just as the tomato reached its peak of perfection.  She and her brother, Eli, came with their folks down from Perry, MO to enjoy some time on the farm.  They both like the cows and like being out in the garden.  Champion has always been an excellent place for young people as well as Champion Tomatoes!

2010 First Tomato Winner

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July 3, 2009

First Ripe Champion Tomato – 2009

        The First Ripe Tomato in Champion Contest has been won!  Larry Casey of Rt. 2 brought his beautiful bright red, baseball size tomato into Henson’s Store on Tuesday afternoon, June 30, and shared with Judges Betty Henson and Wilda Moses.  Casey did not know the name of the variety but says he generally grows Rutgers.  This was just a pretty plant that he had picked up over in Cabool early in the season.  The tomato had a nice firm heart and a rich tangy taste, sweet and juicy.  It was firm enough to cut nicely, but definitely perfectly ripe.  A little salt and the judges were transported to tomato heaven.

        For his trouble, Casey was awarded a Certificate of Champion Achievement, a $10.00 gift certificate from the Plant Place in Norwood, 6 tickets (valued at $5.00) for the quilt drawing to be held August 15, at the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department Picnic, two dozen canning jar lids (1 each regular and wide mouth) and an old fruit jar.  The fruit jar was made in 1966 in Canada.  It is a brand called “Crown” and it has a crown embossed on the side.  It has a glass lid with a zinc rim.  He was pleased with his loot and Champions can probably look for him to try for the prize next year as well.

        Casey has been gardening he said for 70 years, though he is just 73 years old.  He is a retired welder and pipe fitter who moved to Champion ten years ago.  He grows a big garden and is a great promoter of purple-hulled peas and had some seed to share.  He said that he had just returned from a trip to Houston, Texas where the Local Pipe Fitters Union, to which he had belonged for 50 years, had honored him for his achievements.  He said that he came back to find his garden overgrown with weeds and two big tomatoes hiding in them, just about ready to eat.  He and his friend Debbie Newland had finished off the first one before they brought the prizewinner down to Henson’s Store.

        Last year the prize was awarded on July 12th to Champion Louise Hutchison.  She and her daughter, Debbie Maynard, granddaughter Amy McGuire and great granddaughter, Hanna Rose McGuire happened into the store just as the judging was over.  Louise and Larry had a few minutes to visit about gardening.  She says that her garden has been suffering from the drought.  Larry complained about deer eating his sweet potatoes.  Louise said that she had heard that if a person cut up a bar of Irish Spring Soap and sprinkled it around that it was a good deterrent for the deer.  Larry thinks he will try it.  It is a Champion thing that gardeners are willing to share their seeds, information and tomatoes!

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August 13, 2008

A Tidy Little Garden

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August 2, 2008

Ed Henson

Edgar W. Henson was his name.  What a Champion!

Ed Henson

You are invited to post comments to share your memories and
stories about Ed and Anna and the Old Days in Champion.

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July 16, 2008

Champion Thornless Blackberries

Louise's Thornless Blackberries

Shown here are six thornless black berries grown by Louise and Wilburn Hutchison of Champion. The plants are a sight to see! The look like a wall of berries. The paperwork that came with the plants when Louise bought them indicates that they are easy care and also produce prolific large fruits on ‘thornless’ plants. The Triple Crown variety bears early and the Chester is a late bearing variety. These are just fantastic to see. Berries ripen in July and the plants will bear the second season. These berries are Champions!

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