MONTEREY, Calif. — In California, several Salinas Valley grower-shippers made their annual stop at the Monterey County Fair to tempt fair-goers with a taste of their products and compete in a vegetable display contest.

Ocean Mist Farms, River Ranch Fresh Foods, Taylor Farms and Tanimura & Antle took turns serving food at the fairgrounds Aug. 31 to Sept. 5, as did Garden Gourmet.

“We do all the fairs — Monterey, King City, Santa Cruz,” said Kori Tuggle, director of marketing and business development at Ocean Mist. “We’ve been doing this for decades. The people we work with go to the fair, so it’s important to us that we participate each year and showcase what we do.”

In the agriculture building, in addition to the usual fair staple of fried artichokes, Ocean Mist served artichoke sourdough bisque with garlic breadsticks; plus a spinach salad with apple-smoked bacon and pecorino romano cheese tossed in a creamy balsamic vinaigrette.

In the display contest, Ocean Mist won the most blue ribbons from fair judges by a wide margin. The Castroville, Calif.-based company also entered in the most commodity, pack style and size categories.

“Thanks to the entire OMF team from field to cooler in working together…to achieve the most first-place entries with all the items we entered,” said Cisco Martinez, quality assurance manager.

Blue-ribbon winners include Dole Fresh Vegetables; D’Arrigo Bros. Co.; Tanimura & Antle; Steinbeck Country Produce; Boggiatto Produce; Springfield Farms; and Soledad, Calif.-based tomato shipper O.P. Murphy & Sons, among others.

Ocean Mist’s blue ribbon categories included artichokes, spinach, Brussels sprouts, napa cabbage, green onions and romaine hearts.