TORONTO, Nov. 10, 2015 /CNW/ - "Do you want fries with that?" is the question that prompts us to think about potatoes. But there is so much more to potatoes as visitors to The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (RAWF) are learning. Sam Squire loves potatoes and he's more than happy to talk about them and show them. His seven ribbons for potatoes in the Horticulture Section are testament to his commitment.
Squire has been entering potatoes at the RAWF for 17 years and he has won his share of firsts. His highest ranking this year was third place although his entry in "Most Unusually Shaped Vegetable" took first for a potato that looks like something from outer space. Squire also sits on the Horticulture Committee for the RAWF and he is dedicated to giving potatoes the star power at the fair he believes they deserve.
"It takes a couple hours to prepare entries for the horticulture section," Squire explains. An entry requires 10 to 20 tubers, depending on the class, of similar size, colour and shape. Once a sample is chosen, the potatoes must be washed and packaged for entry.
Squire is a former potato specialist with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and, since his retirement, he has been doing potato trials for the Ontario Potato Board, which offers a special award for the Champion Stock Potato. This year's winner of the Ontario Potato Board prize is Randy Visser of Orwell Cove, PEI.
"There's quite a bit of education that comes with The Royal," Squire comments. He believes the RAWF serves a purpose to educate young people who may not know someone who owns a farm. He's doing his part to ensure visitors to The Royal see a variety of potatoes from white to red to purple.
Both the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion potatoes were entered by Ed Valdes of Guelph. Squire will likely try again next year.
The Royal is supported in part by the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario.
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.
SOURCE Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Image with caption: "Sam Squire (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151110_C6977_PHOTO_EN_541447.jpg
For further information: Karen Poncelet, Marketing Communications and Community Relations Mgr, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, 39 Manitoba Drive, Exhibition Place, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3, Direct: 416-263-3411, Fax: 416-263-3488