Archive for July, 2011

3rd annual KCTT Tomato Tasting F.A.Q.

So far we’ve got a record number of registrations for the August 6th Event.  We’re at Roe park again this year and will start around 11:00. It is a very shady spot and it’s nice and comfy even on a fairly hot day.

Lots of new gardeners and tomato enthusiasts, so I thought I’d make a F.A.Q. to help folks out.

  • Does it cost anything to attend?  No…absolutely free for all tomato lovers!
  • If I don’t have any tomatoes this year, can I still attend?  Definitely! It’s optional to bring breads or cheeses or anything else that would accompany tomatoes, but you can just bring yourself and you palate.
  • What else should I bring?  Bring a lawn chair and a cool beverage (non-alcoholic please per park regulations)
  • I plan on bringing tomatoes, how should I bring them?  Please bring them whole and labeled.  Label then at the stem end with a sharpie.  I’ll have plenty of paper plates we can label the plates once we slice the tomatoes for serving.  I’ll also have several cutting boards and knives for slicing as well as salt and toothpicks for serving.
  • Can I bring a tomato dish?  YES!  We love to try new and delicious dishes that make use of our produce.  Please bring a few dozen copies of the recipe if you wouldn’t mind.
  • When should I arrive?  We’ll start setting up around 10:00 and checking people in around 10:30.  Please don’t be later than 11:30 if you are bringing tomatoes to taste.  We usually wrap up around 2:00 or so.
  • Can I bring guests and children?  Definitely!  Please bring any friends that truly appreciate a good tomato!  Children are also welcome. There is a really nice playground there and a public swimming pool right across the parking lot.

You might also want to bring a small notebook and pen to write with.  There will be close to 100 varieties to sample and you might want to take notes so you can keep track of your favorites.

We’re having two contests this year as well as door prizes!  The first contest will be for the heaviest tomato.  Will Rod McBride be ably to defend his monster Carbon from last year or will the heaviest tomato come from another garden this year?

The second contest will have three winners and will be for the gardener who brings the most different labeled varieties of tomatoes (Sorry Keith Mueller…you’re ineligible in the contest, but I’ll gladly supply you with any plants you want next year in trade for another Purple Haze! !).  We’ll have a registration table for folks to check in with their labeled tomatoes.  Top three gardeners with the most varieties will win!

We’ll also have a voting system this year.  Each participant will receive 10 red tickets.  As you sample the varieties and find your favorites, you’ll write the name of the varieties on your tickets and place them in a voting container.  You can use all 10 of your tickets to vote for one variety or vote for 10 different ones. We’ll tally the results after the event and I’ll grow the top 25 vote getters next year and have them available for sale.

Again the event is at Roe Park, Saturday, August 6th at 11:00.

We’ll be in the shelter on the south side of the parking lot by the playground.  The park is very shady and pretty comfortable even if it’s hot out.

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Gardening on the surface of the Sun!

Not quite, but it sure feels like it anyway!  This heat wave is brutal and there is no end in sight of these brutal temperatures.

Other than a 30 minute trip to the garden each day, I am pretty much in summer hibernation mode.  We are just now getting our first quantities of ripe tomatoes…only about 1/4 of my plants have produced a ripe fruit so far.  We did manage to have our first BLT’s of the season yesterday…Cherokee Purple and Carbon are the finest fruits I’ve ever eaten…if you’re not growing those two this year, make room for a plant or two  of each next season!

Some advice I can offer for gardening in this heat:

  • Garden early in the morning to take advantage of the coolest part of the day.  This is also the best time to water.
  • Pick tomatoes as soon as they show any signs of blushing (color change)  They ripen SUPER FAST in this heat and can spoil in a day or two if left on the vine.
  • Water deeply every 4-6 days.  Avoid watering the foliage and avoid over-watering. If plants droop during the day, but re-bound at night, they have enough water (drooping leaves is a way they conserve water)
  • Water container plants twice a day if possible.
  • Stay on top of your weekly fungicide spraying regimen…spray immediately after any rain.
  • Keep an eye out for insect invasions…lots of people are having problems with various worms…hand pick them (use gloves if they are icky) before they eat too much of your plant.

Other than that, I’m just waiting for August 6th!  If you haven’t RSVP’d for the 3rd annual tomato tasting yet, please do so by e-mail or our Facebook page.  We’re less than 3 weeks away from the tasting and we should hit it at the peak of tomato ripening this year!

I’ll update the blog with information about the tasting next week and send out a reminder notice as well.

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