“It has been my distinct pleasure to host this annual contest to bring attention to one of the most beautiful and varied crops here in Massachusetts”
First of all, we apologize for the delay. We meant to get this news to you last week, but things got hectic with summer winding down and all. Nevertheless, while we don’t exactly specialize in vegetable news around here, this seemed worthy of your attention. Unless you’re a tomato hater, in which case you may want to throw one at us. In which case we say, Go for it!
Last week, Mass “agricultural officials joined tomato farmers from across the state on the plaza of the Boston Public Market for the Commonwealth’s 37th Tomato Contest.” This year’s contest drew “95 entries from 18 farms across the state,” which “were judged by a panel of food writers, chefs, produce experts, and state officials on flavor, firmness/slicing quality, exterior color.”
“It has been my distinct pleasure to host this annual contest to bring attention to one of the most beautiful and varied crops here in Massachusetts,” Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux said. “The quality and variety of the tomatoes on display speaks to the skill and ingenuity our hardworking farmers possess in growing these summertime favorites.
The competition was tough (though sweet, needless to say). According to state numbers, “of the 7,241 farms in Massachusetts, 517 farms annually produce more than 6.7 million pounds of tomatoes on 569 acres with a value of approximately $14 million. An additional 16.8 acres of tomatoes are grown in greenhouses with an approximate value of $4.1 million.”
Without further ado, the winners are …
1st Place – Verrill Farm, Town of Concord, with a Big Beef Tomato
2nd Place – Langwater Farm, Town of North Easton, with a BHN 589 Tomato
3rd Place – Ward’s Berry Farm, Town of Sharon, with a BHN 589 Tomato
1st Place – Red Fire Farm, Town of Montague, with a Starlor Tomato
2nd Place – Siena Farms, Town of Sudbury, with a Sungold Tomato
3rd Place – Red Fire Farm, Town of Montague, with a Sun Peach Tomato
1st Place – Falls Farm, Town of Montague with, a Cherokee Purple Tomato
2nd Place – Russell Orchards, Town of Ipswich, with a Black Prince Tomato
3rd Place – Verrill Farm, Town of Concord, with a Rose Tomato
1st Place – Ward’s Berry Farm, Town of Sharon, with a Black Krim Tomato weighing 3.83 lbs.
2nd Place – Verrill Farm, Town of Concord, with a Buffalo Sun Tomato weighing 2.49 lbs.
3rd Place – Langwater Farm, Town of North Easton, with a Striped German Tomato – 2.23 lbs.