From left, Judy Hazard, Ken Hazard and Kim Barkfelt judge honey entries Monday at the Medina County Fair.
LYDIA MAINZER / GAZETTE Enlarge
MEDINA — The Agriculture Building at the Medina County Fair was abuzz Monday with judges determining the winning honey and hay entries.
Ken and Judy Hazard, along with Kim Barkfelt, an apprentice in-training, judged the honey entries, and Jim Thompson, a former honey exhibitor and judge, explained the process.
“The extracted honey is first judged on any potential defects on the glass jar. Then the judges look for and examine the honey’s color, clarity and taste,” Thompson said.
Thompson has 40 years of experience judging honey throughout Ohio.
Along with extracted honey, Bruce Schneider judged baked goods that included honey as an ingredient.
The entries included the recipe and listed all ingredients used.
“One hundred percent of the sugar used in the recipe must be honey,” Schneider said.
Thompson said Medina County had a surplus of honey entries compared with other fairs held earlier this summer. Numerous people lost their hives due to the weather this spring, he explained.
“The hives have not built up their strength yet,” Thompson pointed out.
Earlier, hay judging took place in another part of the Agricultural Building.
There are two divisions for hay — junior and senior — a variety of categories for the different types.
Hay was judged on the following: stages of maturity, leafiness, color, the absence of weeds and the condition.
Judge Dave Snyder from Ashland explained judges look for small or absent flowers and buds. The more leaves, the better, and green is a good thing, as is little or no weeds, and the texture should be soft.
“To start, you want the right soil. That is one of the first steps to a successful hay entry,” said Snyder, who has been judging hay for the past 15 years and is a former agriculture teacher in Ashland.
The honey and hay exhibits will be on display throughout fair week.
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