This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Thinking a few remarks on our fair, held here the last week in September, may be of interest to some of your readers, and wishing to bring to the notice of the outside world, so to speak, some of the merits of our young State, as well as making a meagre attempt to place Colorado on the same platform, in an agricultural point of view, that some of her older and more pretent-ous sisters occupy, and to show what can be obtained with a little knowledge, industry and labor, I have chosen the above as my theme. On alighting at the grounds we proceeded to the Vegetable Hall, a spacious building, amply provided with accommodations. Our minds are at once aroused by the very fine specimens of vegetables, which I certainly did not expect to find, hearing so much East, as I did, of the droughts in Colorado. I expected to find' the exhibits to correspond. The Cabbage deserved admiration, large solid heads. Potatoes too were of good size, with a clear white skin, without that dark cavity in the centre which we so frequently meet East. Tomatoes were not so large as I have seen, but were well colored' and very solid.
I was somewhat surprised at the Cauliflowers, which, as I was informed, were grown outside, which I thought was very good, as they measured from ten to fifteen inches-across. Onions: they were monstrous! the size of the crown of one's hat, almost. Celery, I too, was very good for so early in the season. I noticed some huge specimens of Beets, Parsnips, etc. The display of fruit was rather small, but even so, it was a beginning; when we remember that only a few years ago no fruit at all was grown here. People declared it could not be grown, but observation and study is somewhat, outruling that now, as there were some very good Apples and Grapes. Peaches were small; Plums were pretty good, as were Quinces. Leaving the Vegetable Hall we turn to another building, where a glass structure had been erected for the floral display, which was very creditable to the exhibition, especially for the short time they have been engaged in the business. Mrs. C. V.Witter took off the blue ribbon for the best display of greenhouse and bedding plants, and for best display of cut flowers; and a special premium for the handsomest bouquet, and for a very tastefully arranged table ornament which attracted much attention.
Mr. Gallup was awarded first premium for the best display of foliage plants, three handsomest bouquets, and second for the best display of greenhouse plants. One very enterprising fact about the population of Denver is, for instance, that a jewelry firm offers premiums for displays of flowers, etc, a groceryman for vegetables, etc. I am glad to see even this far West, and in so newly settled country, that people take such a lively interest in flowers and plants, though sometimes their plants look depressed and woe-begone, or as if they had been bankrupt a dozen times; but such poor success as that don't discourage their owners or prevent them from purchasing a new stock, and starting afresh with bright prospects. But with all their hopes, they are, with very few exceptions designed in their turn to follow them. To close, I might candidly say, if one may judge from what he sees around him, that Colorado is coming up, and which she will prove ere long, without my inexperienced pen endeavoring to forecast her progress.