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Horticulture; it’s a big word that is really easy to understand. Horticulture is the science of growing living things, such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants. There are two divisions in the 4-H horticulture projects: Flowers and Vegetables. Each division has four skill levels, from beginner to advanced. Horticulture isn’t just growing things, though. You’ll also learn about marketing your product, using art to design your garden, and how technology can help you make things grow bigger and faster. There’s no place too small for a garden. Whether you’re using a big backyard, a city building roof, or your own kitchen, there’s plenty of room for the 4-H Horticulture projects.

State Fair Exhibit Rules 

FLORICULTURE

Each county may submit 3 entries total from 50192, 50193, 50194, 50195, 50196, 50197; and 1 entry from 50198.

50192    Floriculture A

Exhibit one of the following options:

  • Create a flower arrangement; either a round arrangement or a bud vase. No silk flowers are permitted; OR
  • Create a photo collage or a collection of pictures of flowers that you have raised. Label your flowers by name and tell if you started with a seed, cutting or transplants. Mount pictures on a poster board; OR
  • Exhibit in one container, 3 stems of blooms - each with attached foliage. Foliage that would go inside the container may be removed. All three blooms or stems should be the same variety, color, shape and size and must have been grown from seed, young seedling plants, bulbs or rhizomes by the exhibitor. (NOTE: Exhibitors choosing lilies should include no more than 2/3 of foliage for their exhibit.)

50193    Floriculture B

Exhibit one of the following options:

  • Create an artistic display of dried flowers explaining how each was dried; OR
  • Create a photo collage or collection of pictures of plants from your theme garden. Label your plants by name and explain how the plants were chosen to fit the theme.

50194    Floriculture C

Exhibit one of the following options:

  • Create a terrarium or dish garden. Plants should have been started by the exhibitor from cuttings or seeds or as purchased plugs. The terrarium must be cared for by the exhibitor for at least 5 months; OR
  • Exhibit a plant that you propagated from cuttings, layering or division or started from seed. Create a photo board showing the progression of growth. Tips for vegetative propagation of houseplants can be found at University of Illinois Extension houseplants, http://urbanext.illinois.edu/houseplants/default.cfm.

50195    Floriculture D

Exhibit one of the following options:

  • Create a centerpiece around a theme such as a wedding, holiday, birthday, etc. No silk flowers are permitted; OR
  • Create an exhibit of forced bulbs in a pot.

50196    Floriculture Display

Open to youth enrolled in Floriculture A, Floriculture B, Floriculture C, and Floriculture D

Present an exhibit of the member’s choice that focuses on some aspect of floriculture which does not fit in the categories above. The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation, which will remain on display during the exhibition. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period.

50197    Floriculture Clover Challenge

Open to 15- to 18-year-olds enrolled in the Floriculture Clover Challenge Project who have completed Floriculture A, B, C and D.

Exhibits in this category should go “above and beyond” what the 4-H project books cover and should represent an accumulation of years of project study. The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation, which will remain on display during the exhibition. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period. The completed Illinois 4-H Clover Challenge Agreement must be presented with the exhibit.

50198    Floriculture Ready4Life Challenge

Open to 11- to 18-year-olds enrolled in any Floriculture project

Exhibits in this category must include the following: a) a physical representation of the career or business product such as a model, prototype or display/portfolio that includes images of accomplished work; b) verbal or written explanations that demonstrate knowledge of the related career or business fields, potential careers, and the appropriate requirements for achievement in those fields. The judging criteria for this class values thoroughness of career and/or business exploration and pursuit above the workmanship of the physical specimen on display.

VEGETABLE GARDENING

Each county may submit 3 entries total for 50314, 50315, 50316, 50317; and 1 entry for 50318.

All vegetables exhibited must have been grown by the exhibitor as part of their current gardening 4-H project. Exhibitors should be knowledgeable about various aspects of the vegetables, including but not limited to different varieties, soil testing, fertilizers used, etc. Vegetable exhibits should be prepared according to the Illinois Vegetable Garden Guide website: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/vegguide/. Waxes and oils may not be used on vegetables or fruits. Any plant infested with insects will be removed from the exhibit area and will not be eligible for a Superior exhibit.

50314    Vegetable Display

Open to youth in Vegetable Gardening A, Vegetable Gardening B, Vegetable Gardening C, and Vegetable Gardening D

  1. This class is allowed a 2’6” x 2’6” space for display.
  2. Basket must include 6 and not more than 12 different vegetables. There may not be more than 2 different varieties of any vegetable. For example, red and white potatoes would be classified as two different varieties. Acorn squash and zucchini would be classified as two different vegetables.
  3. The number and type of vegetables used must conform to the Vegetable Plate/Display List.
  4. Exhibitors must provide the name and variety of all vegetables used (i.e. Cabbage – Golden Acre; Cucumber, slicing – Straight Eight; Tomatoes, slicing – Rocky Top; Snap Beans – Contender, etc.).

50315    Vegetable Plate

Open to youth in Vegetable Gardening A, Vegetable Gardening B, Vegetable Gardening C, and Vegetable Gardening D

  1. Exhibit must include 2 single vegetable plates. (Exhibitor will furnish the disposable plates.)
  2. Number of vegetables on plates must conform to plate list below.
  3. Only one variety on each plate.
  4. An exhibitor cannot show two plates of the same type vegetable. (i.e.: Cannot exhibit red and white potatoes or zucchini and straightneck squash.)

VEGETABLE PLATE/DISPLAY LIST

When selecting vegetables for exhibition, keep in mind that the judge will evaluate them on the basis of cleanliness, uniformity, condition, quality, and trueness to variety. (Lists are provided by UI Extension Horticulturists; Items are listed according to the correct definition of vegetables)

  • Asparagus (5 spears)
  • Beans, Lima (12 pods)
  • Beets (5)
  • Broccoli (1 head)
  • Brussels Sprouts (12 sprouts)
  • Cabbage (1 head)
  • Cauliflower (1 head)
  • Carrots (5)
  • Cucumber, pickling or slicing (5)
  • Eggplant (1)
  • Garlic (5)
  • Kohlrabi (5)
  • Lettuce (1 head or plant)
  • Muskmelon incl. cantaloupe (1)
  • Okra (12)
  • Onions, large, dry (5)
  • Onions, green or set (12)
  • Parsnips (5)
  • Peas, (12 pods)
  • Peppers, large fruited (bell/banana) (5)
  • Peppers, small fruited (chili/cherry) (12)
  • Popcorn (5)
  • Potatoes (any variety) (5)
  • Pumpkin (1)
  • Rhubarb, trimmed stalks (3)
  • Rutabaga (5)
  • Salsify (5)
  • Squash, summer (any variety) (3)
  • Sweet Corn, in husks (5)
  • Tomatoes, slicing (5)
  • Tomatoes, small fruited (12)
  • Turnip (5)
  • Watermelon (1)
  • Squash, winter (Acorn, butternut, buttercup, spaghetti, Hubbard, Turks’s Turban) (1)
  • Beans, Snap, Green Pod or Golden Wax (12 pods)
  • Greens (collard, endive, escarole, kale, mustard, spinach, Swiss chard) (1 plant)
  • Horseradish Root (1 marketable root specimen harvested this year)

50316    Vegetable Gardening Display

Open to youth in Vegetable Gardening A, Vegetable Gardening B, Vegetable Gardening C, Vegetable Gardening D

Present an exhibit of the member’s choice that focuses on some aspect of vegetable gardening which does not fit in the categories above. The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation, which will remain on display during the exhibition. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period.

50317    Vegetable Gardening Clover Challenge

Open to 15- to 18-year-olds enrolled in the Vegetable Gardening Clover Challenge Project who have completed Vegetable Gardening A, B, C and D.

Exhibits in this category should go “above and beyond” what the 4-H project books cover and should represent an accumulation of years of project study. The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation, which will remain on display during the exhibition. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period. The completed Illinois 4-H Clover Challenge Agreement must be presented with the exhibit.

50318    Vegetable Gardening Ready4Life Challenge

Open to 11- to 18-year-olds enrolled in any Vegetable Gardening project

Exhibits in this category must include the following: a) a physical representation of the career or business product such as a model, prototype or display/portfolio that includes images of accomplished work; b) verbal or written explanations that demonstrate knowledge of the related career or business fields, potential careers, and the appropriate requirements for achievement in those fields. The judging criteria for this class values thoroughness of career and/or business exploration and pursuit above the workmanship of the physical specimen on display.