KCTTTT #8….The Ocho Was AWESOME!

We had the best weather we could ever hope for on the first Saturday of August in Kansas City!  Thanks to some awesome publicity in the Kansas City Star, we had a record turnout of over 200 tasters!  We had 58 varieties of tomatoes to taste and some wonderful dishes that people brought as well as delicious charcuterie and BLT’s from Local Pig and Pigwich.  We’re looking to make next year’s 9th annual tasting on August 5th, 2017 even bigger and better than the previous 8 combined…stay tuned for news!

I took a few pictures, but there are more on Facebook and on Tomatotown.org

We also did our totally unscientific, totally unofficial tomato tasting voting.  Keep in mind that there were limited quantities of many types and several varieties came in late after lots of people voted.  Despite all of that, Sungold rose to the top of the ranks as it is almost always in the top two or three of the lists!  Absinthe and Kiss the Sky were right on the heels of the champ though!

Sungold 27
Absinthe 26
Kiss the Sky 26
Brandywine Sudduth 24
Black Krim 21
Carbon 21
Mexico Midget 20
Cherry Bomb 15
Black Cherry Quartz 14
Stupice 12
Cherokee Purple 10
Sorollina Choice 10
Blush 9
Kosovo 9
Lucky Tiger 9
Paul Robeson 9
Three Way 9
White Tomesol 9
Brandywine Red 8
Abe Lincoln 7
Monkey Ass 7
Aunt Gertie’s Gold 6
Cherokee Gold 6
Chocolate Lightning 6
Juan Flamme 6
Black Apple 5
Lithuanian 5
Sunrise Bumblebee 5
Early Girl 4
Greek Dolmate 4
Hippie Zebra 4
Juliet Grape 4
Rutger’s 4
Celebrity 3
Kellogg’s breakfast 3
Kimberly 3
Nepal 3
Yoder German Yellow 3
12-HOL 2
Killer 2
Paul Romanesco 2
Black Brandywine 1
Bonnie Original 1
Cherokee Goddess 1
Early Girl Red 1
Indigo Cherry Drops 1
Speckled Roman 1



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KCTT Tomato Tasting #8 F.A.Q

The tomato varieties are the star of the show, but the awesome meats The Local Pig breaks out and the scrumptious dishes everyone bring to share are reason alone to spend your Saturday morning in the east bottoms with us!

Please review the F.A.Q.’s below to help make your trip to the 6th KCTTTT a memorable success for all of us!

  • Where and when is the KCTTTT?  The tasting is from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 6th at the Local Pig (2618 Guinotte Ave, Kansas City, MO 64120)  Please click the link to get directions as it can be a bit difficult to find if you’re never been there before.
  • How much does it cost?  The KCTTTT has been and always will be a free event.
  • What should I bring?  Please bring labeled varieties of tomatoes if you can for people to enjoy.  We love tomato variety and want to have as many types of tomatoes to taste as possible!  Put your tomatoes in a brown paper lunch sack with the variety labeled on the sack.  Check them in with Jen at the registration table to get your tickets for the prize drawings.  Each variety you bring gets you one ticket for the drawing…bring as many varieties as you can for the best chances to win!

The big hit of every tomato tasting is the creative dishes people bring for others to sample.  Break out your favorite tomato dish  recipes and we look forward to devouring them!

Also,you might want to bring a lawn chair to sit in as seating will be very limited with the large crowd we are expecting.

  • I don’t have any tomatoes to bring this year, what else can I bring?  It’s ok if you don’t have tomatoes to bring, but we would appreciate it if you would bring along something to accompany the spread of food.  Fresh breads, cheeses, sweets, or anything else that you think people would enjoy will definitely be appreciated.
  • What else is there to do at the tomato tasting besides eat and eat and eat?  You will have the opportunity to vote for your 5 favorite tomato varieties, so be sure to bring a pen to write on your voting tickets.  If you’re a gardener, you might also want to bring a pad and paper to write down your favorite varieties so you can grow them in your garden in the future.  You will also be surrounded by like minded foodies and gardeners who are the friendliest people on the planet…I’m sure you’ll have plenty to talk about!  Also, make sure you make a trip inside The Local Pig to buy some of their fantastic sausages, bacon, steaks, and other amazing products!
  • How can I help with this event?  We are always looking for help setting up and taking down the event.  I will arrive around 7:30 in the morning to put down table cloths and start organizing the tables and tomatoes.  Jen will need one person to help with the registration.  Around 8:00 we’ll need a couple of people to help with slicing and labeling tomatoes to put on the tables.  If you would like to help out, please arrive early and we’ll put you to work!

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Too hot for tomatoes? Maybe…

This heat isn’t necessarily a good thing. This is our peak “fruit setting” time and we’re rarely in the mid to upper 90’s at this time of year. I’m a bit worried about the crop…this article explains it a bit more:


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Middle Of May Video Blog

The garden is just about finished transitioning from spring plants to summer plants.


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Video Blog of the Garden in Early April

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Better Late Than Never…THE LIST!!!


With my career change last year came a huge change in my priorities in life.  My job keeps me super busy, but also super happy.  Gardening and working in the greenhouse used to be my “escape” from the unhealthy stresses of my old job.  I now find myself in a much better state of mind at the end of the workday and do not have the need to decompress for hours on end with plants in my hands.  That being said….I still love to grow and still love to help people have amazing gardens, but things will be scaled back a bit for now.

I have  a great lineup of tomato and pepper plants this year and they are looking very good and ready to be transplanted in the next couple of weeks.  I will not be planting the huge numbers of each variety though. I’ll have a lot of plants for sale, but may run out of some types quickly.  It will be first come, first served again this year, so stop by early to have your best chance at getting the types of plants you really want to grow.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as I transition into my new awesome career.

My plant sale dates will be as follows:

April 16th:  GO NATIVE Event at the Discovery Center (FREE Native plants,  trees, seeds and landscaping advice)

April 23rd:   8-4

April 30th:  8-4

May 1st:    8-noon

May 7th:    8-4

May 8th:    8-noon

I am at 215 East 97th Street, KCMO.

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Fall Prep Work for Better Spring Gardening

If you’re like the vast majority of gardeners, by the end of Summer, you’re getting tired of the garden for the year.  The tomato plants are sad looking or dead, the squash bugs have devoured all of your plants, what the squash bugs didn’t eat the grasshoppers munched down or fungal diseases of every sort have obliterated most of your garden.  Maybe you’ve got a few pepper plants that are finally putting on ripe fruit or you’re eyeing the last of the green tomatoes and wondering when they’ll ripen.  Perhaps your sweet potato vines are covering everything in their path and you can’t wait to find those buried treasures in the next few weeks.  At any rate, most of us are not nearly excited about gardening as we were back in March when we could barely wait to get our hands in the soil.

fall harvest2012 004

Despite all of the hardships of summer, the cooling weather is your signal to get back in there to finish the fight so that next year’s gardening can be that much easier and even more successful.  Hopefully some of you planted fall crops such as beets, kale, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuces, turnips, and radishes.  If so, you’re one of the few brave souls still eating fresh veggies from your garden beds.  Even if you don’t have anything harvest-able, get out there and remove all of the dead plants and toss them in the compost pile.  Leaving the dead plants in the garden can encourage pests to over-winter in the debris and could contribute to the spread of plant diseases.

Add a healthy layer of compost to each bed and till it into the top few inches of soil.  This allows the nutrients in the compost to be fully available to your plants in the spring.  It also makes it much easier to plant next spring as the soil is ready to accept seeds or seedlings with little extra effort other than a gentle raking.  Many gardeners have delayed planting in the spring because they have to wait for their soil to dry out before working it…tilling in the fall while it is drier can definitely give you the edge next spring.


It’s not too late to plant a few things now.  You can definitely plant garlic as this is the the peak time to get those cloves in the ground for a harvest next June.  You can also sow the seeds of lettuce and radishes, but be prepared to cover them in a few weeks when that first threat of frost looms.

earlymaygarden2013 007

Now is a good time to reflect on this past gardening season.  Write a few notes about what worked and what didn’t do so well in your gardens this year.  Make a list of “Must Grows” for next year as those seed catalogs will be coming in the mail in just a couple of months.  Make a sketch of your garden or use one of the many garden planning websites or programs to help you get organized and be able to hit the soil running once winter starts to lose her icy grip on us next year!

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