Giant, Mutant-like Vegetables at Alaska State Fair

State fairs in America are always a fascinating glimpse into a rural part of life that so few of us ever actually see anymore.

Each state fair is unique in its own special way but one that stands out from all the others is the Alaska State Fair and its fantastic giant vegetable contest.

Sure, every state fair has similar contests where local farmers wheel in giant pumpkins and other items they’ve either grown or raised on their land. The difference with Alaska, however, are those very long, extended summer hours when the sun stays out much longer than it does in the lower 49 states. Produce is exposed to the nurturing sunlight exponentially longer and as a result, can grow exponentially larger.

For example, here is a list of state vegetable records set in last year’s Alaska State Fair:

23-foot, 3 1/2-inch corn stalk
4.702-pound parsnip
1,019-pound pumpkin
17.195-pound yellow zucchini
67 1/8-inch long gourd
55.15-pound blue hubbard squash
21.530-pound bushel gourd

In addition, there is a separate category focused entirely on cabbage. Last years winner of the Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off was Brenna Dinkel with her 73.4-pound cabbage (photo above).

So, if big vegetables are your thing, make your way up to Palmer, Alaska August 23 – September 3, 2007 and feast your eyes on the world’s largest vegetables this side of Chernobyl.

(For a list of all FIVE state fairs in Alaska–yes, the state is that big–click here)