The 29th Annual Massachusetts Tomato Contest will be held at Boston’s City Hall Plaza Farmers’ Market on Monday, August 19th in conjunction with the City Hall Plaza Farmers’ Market and the start of Massachusetts Farmers’ Market Week. Tomatoes will be judged by a panel of experts on flavor, firmness/slicing quality, exterior color and shape. Always a lively and fun event, the day is designed to increase awareness of locally grown produce.
The event is sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and Mass Farmers Markets. This friendly contest is designed to increase consumer awareness of local agriculture.
Schedule of Events:
9:00 am to 10:15 am – Tomato drop-off and registration
10:30 am – Judging of tomatoes by panel of experts
12:30 pm– Presentation of awards
If you cannot attend the contest on Monday, tomato entries can be dropped off Saturday August 17th or Sunday, August 18th at a number of locations across the state. Please contact one of the following representatives to confirm drop-off entry(s).Tomatoes that are dropped off will be brought to Boston for judging. See below for a list for drop-off sites.
Tomato Contest Criteria
Flavor: 10 points possible. The perfect tomato should have a strong tomato taste, be slightly acidic, juicy and fresh tasting with a tender skin.
Firmness/Slicing Quality: 5 points possible. A desirable tomato should have a dense uniform thick wall with many seed cavities, completely filled with a jelly-like mass. The firmness of the tomato should be pleasing, not too mushy and not too hard. It should be such that it will bruise if dropped, yet is not over-ripe.
Exterior Color: 5 points possible. The winning tomato has a uniform color, is free of green shoulders and has no evidence of blotchy ripening.
Shape: 5 points possible. Tomatoes come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the variety. Their shape should be symmetrical, but most important, the tomatoes in each entry should be uniform in size.
PRIZES: First, second, and third place tomato trophies will be awarded in all four categories. Top 5 certificates will also be given in each category.
- Wilson Farm, 781-862-3900, 10 Pleasant St., Lexington
- Silverbrook Farm, 508-991-5185, 592 Chase Rd, Dartmouth
Stillman Farm - 978-537-3342, 1399 Lancaster Ave., Lunenburg
- Randall's Farm - 413-589-7071, 631 Center Street, Ludlow
For more information on the Tomato Contest, please contact David Webber, 617-626-1754, David.Webber@state.ma.us