Before you cut into that homegrown tomato, how does it taste? Is it perfectly shaped or a little on the ugly side?
Whatever the case, you might consider entering it into Kingsport's Tomato Fest. Taste, looks and even the best dressed tomato are all a part of this all-things-tomato event.
No matter if you grow a vegetable garden or not, chances are that you have a tomato plant or two scattered around in your yard. There's just something about the taste of a homegrown tomato that cannot be compared to anything else.
On Saturday, August 11, the tomato becomes the center of a celebration as Kingsport presents it's eighth annual Tomato Fest. Contests for the best tasting, the biggest, prettiest, ugliest, the most bizarre and the best dressed tomato are included, plus the best salsa contest.
This year there will be culinary demonstrations, growing advice and of course, everyone's favorite -- "The tasting which is really the big favorite. Where we put the plates out with different kinds of tomatoes and people can sample the different kinds. Of course people like the contests that gives you bragging rights," says Joy Moore, a Tomato Fest participate.
With an ultra-dry to ultra-wet growing season, just how is this year's crop faring? "Tomatoes like dry weather a lot of the time. That's when they really ripen with the sun, but this rain really enriched the ground with a lot of nutrients and brought it up into the tomatoes. The tomatoes are big and a lot of tomatoes with the vines," Tomato Fest chairman Dennis Marshall said.
A lot have already been picked and canned, but they keep on coming throughout the season.
The heirloom varieties are always a favorite. "The heirlooms really, really have the taste but also sometimes look weird," Moore said.
No matter -- if you have a tomato that you're proud of or tastes great, or even looks weird, bring it to the Tomato Fest at the farmers market downtown on August 11.
For more information e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org