The first annual Floyd Top Tomato Contest was a hoot!  We had over 20 entries for the taste test alone and a steady stream of tasters casting ballots and expounding on tomato philosophy and lore.  I heard several tomato stories equivalent to “the one that got away” fishing stories or of grandpas tomato he bred himself.  It was a fun morning.

So, without further ado, the winners and varieties are as follows:

Best Tasting:

First Place: Bekah Parker and Shannon Houghton with “Moonglow,” a yellow variety that was the hands down favorite. This is an heirloom variety bearing 6-8 oz fruits so they are on the small size but make up for it in flavor.  They won the coveted first place prize, a handmade cutting board from Phoenix Hardwood donated for the event. Thanks Bill and Corrine for the donation!
Second Place: Kester Clark Farm (one of our vendors- Yeah!) with the old time favorite “German Johnson.”  Kester-Clark also won the most unusual tomato with an aberration I do not have the words to describe here.  Ladies, that was truly an ugly tomato! You should be ashamed of yourselves.  In any event, for their efforts they won a free pizza of any variety at Dogtown Roadhouse who generously donated the prize.
Third Place: Home gardener Bob Burgin took third place with another old time favorite “Cherokee Purple.” This is one of those tomatoes you start tasting with your eyes even before it hits the tongue with its dark, purplish flesh.  You expect it to be rich and it doesn’t disappoint.  Great job Bob!

Biggest Tomato:

Sandy Bache of Floyd from her garden off Cannady’s Gap Road landed the first prize in the size category.  Her “Burpee’s Big Boy” lived up to its name, coming in at 1.77#.  For this whopper, they won ten dollars in Floyd Market Bucks to be spent at the market.  An honorable mention must be made to Brian and Amy of Patchwork Farm whose entry came in at 1.74#, oh so close, less than a bite away from the winner.

While variety is important to taste, it’s not the final word.  This was evident as there were other entries of German Johnsons and Cherokee Purples but the winners still stood out.  Soil, fertilizer, singing to the plants, who knows — all make a difference in the final product.  Thanks to all who entered and tasted.  We’ll do it again next season.

Apple lovers should try the “Honeycrisp” variety now available from the Good Food Good People booth.  The name is dead-on:  a very crisp apple tasting like it’s been injected with a dose of honey.  Really quite amazing, one of the best fresh eating apples I’ve ever tasted.  I fear we have forgotten what real apples taste and feel like and when we eat one, it’s a real treat.  Apple season is upon us so come out and find that old time flavor again.

See you at the Market!

Mike Burton is the Director of SustainFloyd.

  • Developing Superior Heirloom Tomato Plants (backyardgardeningtips.com) [no longer available]
  • The Misunderstood Tomato (gomestic.com)
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