For Immediate Release - August 20, 2012

Massachusetts Tomato Contest Draws 84 Entries

Farmers from Feeding Hills, Granby and Pepperell take top honors at annual event.

BOSTON – Monday, August 20, 2012 – Tomato farmers from across the state converged on City Hall Plaza today to display the fruits of their labor at the Commonwealth's 28th Annual Tomato Contest. A highlight of the kickoff celebration for Massachusetts Farmers' Market Week, this year's festival drew 84 entries.

Top prizes went to E. Cecchi Farms of Feeding Hills, Kimball Fruit Farm of Pepperell and Red Fire Farm of Granby. A full list of contest winners is attached. Entries were judged by a panel of food writers, chefs, cookbook authors, produce experts and state officials.

“Each year, tomato growers come together for a friendly competition, celebrating one of the season’s most anticipated crops. Local tomatoes and other produce are at their peak availability right now at farmers' markets and roadside stands across the state," said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Commissioner Gregory C. Watson, who kicked off today’s event by reading the Patrick-Murray Administration's proclamation declaring August 19-25 as Massachusetts Farmers' Market Week.

There are 532 farms in the Bay State that each year produce more than 5.4 million pounds of tomatoes with a value of $10.8 million.

In addition to the presentation of awards, today's Tomato Festival included tomato tasting, recipe demonstrations and information on nutrition and local farms. The festival and contest are sponsored by DAR, the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association, Mass Farmers' Markets and The Boston Public Market Association.

Massachusetts Tomato Contest Winners, 2012

SLICING CATEGORY

Entry

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Place

9

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Black Prince

1

22

Langwater Farm

Easton

Primo Red

2

14

Farmer Dave's

Dracut

BHN589

3

7

Verrill Farm

Concord

Dafel

4

21

Langwater Farm

Easton

Scarlet Red

5

16

MacArthur Farm

Holliston

Geranimo

6

19

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

BHN961

7

15

Cape Abilities

Hyannis

Trust

8

17

Linabella's Gourmet Garlic Farm

Oakham

Orange Blossom

9

18

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

BHN589

10

CHERRY CATEGORY

Entry

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Place

4

E. Cecchi Farms

Feeding Hills

Red Grape

1

27

Langwater Farm

Easton

Matts Wild

2

19

Linabella's Gourmet Garlic Farm

Oakham

Sun Sugar

3

22

Freitas Farm

Middleboro

Sungold

4

2

Red Fire Farm

Granby

SunCherry

5

5

Macone Farm

Concord

Sungold

6

23

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Sungold

7

11

Moonlight Rose

Swansea

Sungold

8

1

Red Fire Farm

Granby

Honeydrop

9

9

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Supersweet 100

10

HEIRLOOM CATEGORY

Entry

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Place

3

Red Fire Farm

Granby

Striped German

1

25

Langwater Farm

Easton

Arkansas Traveler

2

10

Verrill Farm

Concord

Red Zebra

3

2

Red Fire Farm

Granby

Brandywine

4

13

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Carbon

5

23

Stillman's Farm

New Braintree

German Stipe

6

26

Langwater Farm

Easton

Speckled Roman

7

19

Linabella's Gourmet Garlic Farm

Oakham

Moon Glow

8

1

Red Fire Farm

Granby

Black Zebra

9

8

Verrill Farm

Concord

Black Price

10

HEAVIEST

Entry

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Weight

Place

5

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Aussie

2.840

1

3

Macone Farm

Concord

Mr. Stripey

2.670

2

1

Red Fire Farm

Montague

Mexico

2.420

3

4

Verrill Farm

Concord

Aussie

2.360

4

9

Rota Spring

Sterling

Mountain Fresh

2.120

5

6

Farmer Daves

Dracut

Persimmon

2.100

6

7

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Sunbean

2.060

7

8

Longwater Farm

Easton

Striped German

1.720

8

2

E. Cecchi Farms

Feeding Hills

Crista

1.480

9

11

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Striped German

1.865

10

DAR's mission is to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions - Agricultural Conservation & Technical Assistance, Agricultural Markets, Animal Health, and Crop and Pest Services - DAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the rich diversity of the Commonwealth's agricultural community to promote economically and environmentally sound food safety and animal health measures, and fulfill agriculture's role in energy conservation and production. For more information, visit DAR's website at www.mass.gov/agr, and/or follow at twitter.com/MDARcommish.

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