Francine Rippy of Hacienda Heights figures she has won more than 1,000 ribbons at the Los Angeles County Fair. And this year is no different for the 75-year-old, who won 24 blue ribbons.
“I’ve been doing this a long time, more than 60 years,” Rippy said.
Of course, she has had decades of experience canning and preserving food. She learned as a teenager, growing up on a farm in Santa Fe Springs, now the Hathaway Museum.
“We had fruit orchards, so I learned how to can preserves, jams and jellies,” Rippy said. “We also raised horses, chickens and the calves from our milk cows.”
This early experience has served the Hacienda Heights woman well over the years. Her jellies, jams and preserves consistently win blue ribbons at the Los Angeles County Fair. She says she has won sweepstakes award 13 times.
“She is dedicated to the craft of preserved foods and we are honored that she continues to share that talent and passion with everyone here at the Los Angeles County Fair,” said Shanell Fuquay, Community Relations Coordinator.
Fuquay said the fair’s records don’t go back very far, but Rippy has won the sweepstakes for easily the past 5 years or more. That would have to be a record, Fuquay said.
Today, Rippy receives fresh fruit from friends and neighbors. She keeps her canning utensils ready because you never know when berries will ripen. The avid canner just finished making some blackberry jam.
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story RIPPY