For Immediate Release - August 17, 2012

State Agricultural Officials to Celebrate Farmers’ Market Week with the 28th Annual Tomato Contest

WHAT:

On Monday, August 20, state environmental and agricultural officials will join city officials to kick off Massachusetts Farmers’ Market Week with the 28th Annual Massachusetts Tomato Festival and Contest in Boston, where farmers from across the Commonwealth face off in categories such as field tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, heirloom varieties, weight, shape, color and taste. The contest will be judged by a panel of food writers, chefs, cookbook authors, produce experts and state officials. Last year’s contest drew more than 100 entries.

Immediately following the judging, at 12:30 p.m., Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner (DAR) Greg Watson will read Governor Deval Patrick’s proclamation declaring August 19 to 25 Massachusetts Farmers’ Markets Week and announce the winners of the tomato contest. Tomato sampling will be available to the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Of the more than 7,500 farms in Massachusetts, 532 annually produce more than 5.4 million pounds of tomatoes with a value of $10.8 million.

Acclaimed cookbook author and local chef, Didi Emmons will sign copies of her latest book, Wild Flavors: One Chef’s Transformative Year Cooking from Eva’s Farm. Information on local agriculture and healthy eating will be available from DAR, UMass Extension, Massachusetts WIC Program, Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness and the USDA.

WHO:

DAR Commissioner Greg Watson
Boston Mayor Tom Menino
James Arena-DeRosa, USDA Food and Nutrition Service Northeast Regional Administrator
Jeff Cole, Executive Director, Mass Farmers Markets

WHEN:

Monday       August 20, 2012       Time: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE:

Boston City Hall Plaza Farmers’ Market, along Cambridge Street

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