Mary Schlenker knows what it's like to get a ribbon at the Stutsman County Fair.

Schlenker, of Alfred, N.D., was busy Tuesday entering different jars of pickles, greens and tomatoes for the fair's Home & Hobby competition.

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"Last year my bing cherry jelly won second place," Schlenker said.

This year she is entering a cherry jelly again, along with different varieties of vegetables.

The Home & Hobby competition is different from all the other fair competitive events in that it is an open competition.

"You don't have to be a member of 4-H or any club to enter this competition," said Gayle Frey, one of the event's superintendents. Judy Scherbenske and Carrie Roenmich are the other superintendents.

The Home & Hobby competition includes judging in area such as crops, grasses, fresh flowers, baking, cooking, arts, photography and other crafts. All items must have been hand-made or grown by the contestant in either 2011 or 2012. Items shown in previous Home & Hobby competitions may not be re-entered. The judging started at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday with the results to be announced today.

Schlenker said she has only recently entered the competition and does so because she enjoys going to the fair.

"I go to the fair just about every year; it's always interesting," she said.

Canning and growing her own food is something Schlenker learned from her parents and grandparents growing up.

"Grandpa would always have so many tomatoes, we had to can them," she said. "We always had big gardens. I guess that's why I like baking, canning and gardens."

Lynn Chapman of Jamestown entered two needlepoint pieces. One is a counting cross-stitch work. The other is a hardanger, which Chapman described as a Norwegian style of needlepoint.

"This is my first time entering. I have been going to the fair for years, but didn't realize this competition is open to anyone," she said.

Chapman said she started doing needlepoint in college. It is her way to relax and unwind after a day's work.

"I find it restful and it gets my mind off of the daily routine," she said.

The Home & Hobby exhibits are housed in the Russ Melland exhibit building on the Stutsman County Fairgrounds.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at colson@jamestownsun.com