For Immediate Release - August 18, 2014

Massachusetts Tomato Contest Draws 135 Entries

Farmers from North Easton, Concord, Hardwick, Sharon and Pepperell take top honors at 30th annual event

BOSTON – Monday, August 18, 2014 – Massachusetts environmental officials joined tomato farmers from across the state at the Boston Public Market today for the30th Annual Tomato Contest. A highlight of the summer harvest season, this year's contest drew 135 entries in categories including field tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, heirloom varieties and heaviest tomato.

 

“The Patrick Administration has helped the agriculture industry growing by investing millions into preserving farmland and teaching valuable business and technical skills to our farmers,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Undersecretary for Environment Martin Suuberg. “Today we celebrate the fresh produce that millions across the Commonwealth can enjoy, while at the same time support the farmers in their communities.”

 

Entries were judged by a panel of food writers, chefs, produce experts and state officials on flavor, firmness, exterior color and shape. Top prizes went to farmers from North Easton, Concord, Hardwick, Sharon and Pepperell. A full list of contest winters is attached.

 

“Today is a celebration of the harvest season and our dedicated farmers here in the Commonwealth," said Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Commissioner Gregory Watson. “The tomatoes brought to Boston were the result of months of our growers’ hard work and care.”

 

Of the more than 7,700 farms in Massachusetts, 759 annually produce more than 8.5 million pounds of tomatoes on 685 acres with a value of approximately $17 million.  The Patrick Administration is committed to growing the agriculture economy.  More than $55 million has been invested in the APR program, resulting in the permanent protection of more than 180 farms and more than 10,000 acres. In addition, $7 million has been put towards farmer training, business development, on-farm energy efficiency and more. The Commonwealth has also launched one of the nation’s first state-funded urban farming initiatives, ranks fifth in the nation for direct market sales, hosts 134 farmers’ markets that accept SNAP and since 2007 has seen a 95 percent increase in Community Supported Agriculture and growth in agri-tourism sales of 127 percent.

 

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

 

2014 Massachusetts Tomato Contest Winners

 

 

Slicing Category

 

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Place

 

Langwater Farm

N. Easton

BHN 589

1

 

Macone Farm

Concord

Belgium

2

 

Langwater Farm

N. Easton

BHN 1021

3

 

Brox Farm

Dracut

Applause

4

 

MacArthur Farm

Holliston

Tomomaro Muchu

5

 

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Scarlet Red

6

 

MacArthur Farm

Holliston

Geronimo

7

 

Macone Farm

Concord

Mountain Magesty

8

 

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Sunbrite

9

 

East Street Farm

Tewksbury

BHN 961

10

 

       

 

Cherry Category

 

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Place

 

Still Life Farm

Hardwick

Orange Sun Sugar

1

 

Langwater Farm

N. Easton

Sungold

2

 

Macone Farm

Concord

Sunpeach

3

 

Frietas Farm

Middleboro

Sungold

4

 

Macone Farm

Concord

Sungold

5

 

Verrill Farm

Concord

Sungold

6

 

Idlywilde Farm

Acton

Strawberry Husk

7

 

Frietas Farm

Middleboro

BHN 968

8

 

Farmer Daves

Dracut

Sungold

9

 

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Sweet 100

10

 

       

 

Heirloom Category

 

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Place

 

Langwater Farm

N. Easton

Striped German

1

 

Verrill Farm

Concord

Brandywine

2

 

Macone Farm

Concord

Mr. Stripey

3

 

Macone Farm

Concord

Pondarosa Pink

4

 

Farmer Dave's

Dracut

Cherokee Purple

5

 

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Aussie

6

 

Macone Farm

Concord

Macone Farm

7

 

Red Fire Farm

Granby

Granny Cantrell's German Pink

8

 

MacArthur Farm

Holliston

Arkansas Traveler

9

 

Farmer Dave's

Dracut

Striped German

10

 

       

 

 

Heaviest Category

 

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Weight

Place

Verrill Farm

Concord

Aussie

2.785

1

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Church

2.635

2

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Virginia Sweet

2.460

3

Red Fire Farm

Montague

Striped German

2.450

4

Macone Farm

Concord

Mr. Stripey

2.425

5

Langwater Farm

N. Easton

Mortgage Lifter

2.365

6

Silverbrook Farm

Dartmouth

Pineapple

2.340

7

E. Cecchi Farms

Feeding Hills

Hillbilly

2.180

8

Clark Farm

Danvers

Striped German

2.045

9

Farmer Dave's

Dracut

BHN 961

1.905

10

                 

DAR’s mission is to ensure the long-term viability of local agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions – Agricultural Development, Animal Health, Crop and Pest Services, and Technical Assistance – the DAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the Commonwealth’s agricultural community, working 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.