For Immediate Release - August 22, 2017

State Agricultural Officials Announce Winners of 2017 Massachusetts Tomato Contest

33rd annual tomato competition draws 59 entries

BOSTON Massachusetts agricultural officials joined tomato farmers from across the state today at the KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market for the Commonwealth’s 33rd Annual Tomato Contest. Designed to increase awareness of locally grown produce, this year’s contest drew 59 entries from 12 farms.

“The annual Tomato Contest is a fun tradition that highlights the diversity and quality of Massachusetts agriculture,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “As we approach peak growing season, I encourage all residents to try a new variety of tomato from their local farm or farmers’ market to support their local farmers.”

After the entries were judged by a panel of food writers, chefs, produce experts and state officials on flavor, firmness/slicing quality, exterior color and shape,  Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux announced that the top prizes went to farmers from North Easton, Sharon and Pepperell.

“The Tomato Contest provides growers across the Commonwealth the opportunity to showcase the delicious tomato varieties from Sungold to Black Prince, grown right here in our state,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “I am pleased to see the excitement surrounding this event for Massachusetts farmers and locally produced foods. I thank the Boston Public Market, the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and Mass Farmers' Markets for their continued support of this event that highlights Massachusetts farmers.”

In addition to the presentation of awards, today’s Tomato Contest included a healthy cooking demonstration by UMass Extension, tomato tasting and information on nutrition and local farms. The contest is sponsored by DAR, the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and Mass Farmers’ Markets and was hosted by the Boston Public Market Association and Trustees of Reservations.

“The Boston Public Market and its KITCHEN has provided Boston’s communities with access to local and nutritious produce and groceries,” said State Senator Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop).  “The tomato contest is a great opportunity to showcase the hard work of our local farmers and the Kitchen’s work.”

“This will be the third year in a row that the Boston Public Market has had the honor of hosting the Tomato Contest,” said Cheryl Cronin, CEO of the Boston Public Market. “The Market was built to support local agriculture and to educate the public about food sources and nutrition. The Annual Tomato Contest creates an opportunity for growers from across the Commonwealth to showcase the fruits of their labor and for the public to get closer to the farmers who grow their food. Judging by the incredible tomatoes we've been seeing from our Boston Public Market farmers this summer, it's going to be a tough competition!”

“We wait all year for tomato season and we are thrilled to host MDAR’s Annual Tomato Contest in The KITCHEN. As a founding partner of the Boston Public Market and stewards of over 2000 acres of community farms and gardens across the State, The Trustees is committed to educating residents and visitors about the benefits of eating seasonally and supporting local agriculture,” said Lieza Dagher, Trustees’ Program Director of The KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market. “We are delighted to partner again this year with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to showcase the variety of flavor, color, shape and size of tomatoes grown in the Commonwealth.”

Of the more than 7,700 farms in Massachusetts, 759 annually produce more than 7.6 million pounds of tomatoes on 685 acres with a value of approximately $14.5 million. Consumers can find farmers’ markets, farm stands and other opportunities to buy local here.

 

2017 Massachusetts Tomato Contest Winners

 

Slicing Category

Place Farm Name Town Variety
1 Langwater Farm North Easton BHN589
2 MacArthur Farm Holliston Tomimaru muchoo
3 Three Acre Farm Berlin Valley Girl
4 Langwater Farm North Easton BHN1021
5 C&C Reading Farm Bryantville BNH589
6 MacArthur Farm Holliston BHN589
7 Kimball Fruit Farm Pepperell Dixie Red
8 E. Cecchi Farms Feeding Hills Biltmore
9 Siena Farms Sudbury Beefsteak
10 Kimball Fruit Farm Pepperell BHN589

 

Cherry Category

Place Farm Name Town Variety
1 Ward's Berry Farm Sharon Braveheart
2 Kimball Fruit Farm Pepperell Sungold
3 Langwater Farm North Easton Sungold
4 C&C Reading Farm Bryantville Sun Sugar
5 Ward's Berry Farm Sharon Sugary
6 Three Acre Farm Berlin Sungold
7 Sienna Farms Sudbury Sungold
8 C&C Reading Farm Bryantville Heart Throb
9 Still Life Farm Hardwick Striped Tiger
10 MacArthur Farm Holliston Sungold

 

Heirloom Category

Place Farm Name Town Variety
1 Kimball Fruit Farm Pepperell Carbon
2 Sienna Farms Sudbury Brandywine
3 Ward's Berry Farm Sharon Cherokee Chocolate
4 E. Cecchi Farms Feeding Hills Amana
5 Ward's Berry Farm Sharon Royal Hillbilly
6 Kimball Fruit Farm Pepperell Orange Russian 117
7 Langwater Farm North Easton Cherokee Green
8 Langwater Farm North Easton Cherokee Purple
9 Ward's Berry Farm Sharon Cherokee Carbon
10 MacArthur Farm Holliston Yellow Brandywine

 

Heaviest Category

Place

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Weight

1 Ward's Berry Farm Sharon Heirloom Yellow 2.315
2 Langwater Farm North Easton Striped German 2.263
3 Kimball Fruit Farm Pepperell Pineapple 2.238
4 Sienna Farms Sudbury Striped German 2.235
5 Harpers Farm and Garden Lancaster Striped German 1.920
6 Hanson's Farm Framingham Striped German 1.739
7 E. Cecchi Farms Feeding Hills Brandywine 1.710