For Immediate Release - August 23, 2010

Massachusetts Tomato Festival Draws 98 Entries

Farmers from Pepperell and Sharon take top honors at 26th annual event

BOSTON - August 23, 2010 - Dozens of tomato farmers from across the Bay State converged on City Hall Plaza today to display the fruits of their labors in the Commonwealth's 26 th Annual Tomato Festival. A highlight of the kickoff celebration for Massachusetts Farmers' Markets Week, this year's festival drew 98 entries.

Top prizes went to Pepperell's Kimball Fruit Farm (Slicing, heirloom, & heaviest), and Sharon's Wards Berry Farm (Cherry). A full list of contest winners is attached. Entries were judged by a panel of food writers, chefs, cookbook authors, grocers and state officials.

"What better way to celebrate summer than by honoring local farmers and the 228 farmers' markets throughout the Commonwealth that are a vital part of our state's culture, tradition and economy," said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles.

Commissioner of Agricultural Resources Scott Soares began the award ceremony by reading Governor Deval Patrick's proclamation declaring August 22-28 as Massachusetts Farmers' Market Week.

"Farmers' markets showcase the agricultural diversity of Massachusetts and the benefits of buying local and preserving open space," said Commissioner Soares. "Massachusetts' hard-working farmers continue to supply people throughout the Commonwealth with local goods. Local produce is in abundant supply right now at farmers' markets and roadside stands across the state."

Commissioner Soares noted that this summer's hot and dry weather has been terrific for growing sweet and flavorful tomatoes.

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 the Department of Agricultural Resources, the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers' Markets, in cooperation with the city of Boston Property Management Department.
 



Massachusetts Tomato Contest Winners, 2010

SLICING CATEGORY

Entry

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Place

16

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperrell

Pink girl

1

11

Verrill Farm

Concord

Big beef

2

24

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Scarlet red

3

3

Macone Farm

Concord

Scarlet

4

9

Cape Abilities Farm

Hyannis

Trust 2

5

26

MacArthurs Farm

Holliston

Trust

6

27

MacArthurs Farm

Holliston

Mountain fresh plus

7

8

Cape Abilities Farm

Hyannis

Trust 1

8

15

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperrell

Finish line

9

7

Connors Farm

Danvers

Scarlet red

10

 

 

 

 

 

CHERRY CATEGORY

Entry

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Place

29

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Mini charm

1

9

Clark Farm

Danvers

Sungold

2

13

Verrill Farm

Concord

Matt's Wild

3

20

Hanson's Farm

Framingham

Sungold

4

18

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Brown berry

5

28

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Sungold

6

21

Hanson's Farm

Framingham

Blackcherry

7

3

Macone Farms

Concord

Sungold

8

12

Verrill Farm

Concord

Sungold

9

22

Frietas Farm

Middleboro

Matt's Wild

10

 

 

 

 

 

HEIRLOOM CATEGORY

Entry

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Place

19

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Pineapple

1

13

Verrill Farm

Concord

Brandywine

2

17

Kimball fruit farm

Pepperell

Romanesco pantano

3

15

Red Fire Farm

Granby

Brandywine

4

12

Verrill Farm

Concord

Black Prince

5

11

Verrill Farm

Concord

Green zebra

6

14

Red Fire Farm

Granby

Juane Flamme

7

8

Clark Farm

Danvers

Red zebra

8

20

East street Farm

Tewksbury

Cherokee purple

9

10

Cape Abilities Farm

Hyannis

Beefsteak

10

 

 

 

 

 

HEAVIEST

Entry

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Weight

7

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperrell

Pineapple

2.715

5

Verrill Farm

Concord

Aussie

2.34

1

Volante Farm

Needham

Rainbow

2.32

2

Macone Farm

Concord

Mr. Stripey

1.95

3

Rota-Spring Farm

Sterling

Primo

1.94

6

Red Fire Farm

Granby

Cherokee Green

1.91

11

Ward's berry farm

Sharon

Brandywine

1.8

12

Langwater

North Easton

Striped German

1.8

10

Farmer Dave's

Dracut

Mountain spring

1.635

9

East Street Farm

Tewskbury

Mountain spring

1.57

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 - 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 us at http://twitter.com/MDARCommish. For your gateway to locally grown products, specialty foods, and fun ag-tivities go to www.mass.gov/massgrown.