Friday, August 26, 2011

2011 Tomato Day Coverage

Karlyn Hazleton marks her ballot
Press coverage for the 11th annual Tomato Taste Day included local papers from Hagerstown and Waynesboro.  We had 164 people tell us their choices from a selection of 24 tomato varieties.

From the Herald-Mail:
Each table was lined with tomatoes as tasters armed with clipboards rated them on a scale of 1 to 5 based on flavor and appearance.

“I came just to taste them. I eat a lot of tomatoes,” Burke said.

While some believe an apple a day keeps the doctor away, Burke seems to have applied that same philosophy to tomatoes — but only in the summer.

She doesn’t like the taste of tomatoes in the winter.

“I only get them in the summertime when they are locally grown,” she said.
From the Record Herald:
The tomatoes offered were red, yellow, green and purple. Some were sweet, some were tangy.

The public was asked to rate each tomato on a one to five scale for flavor and appearance.

“I like it,” said Ruth Cozzoli of Hagerstown. “It’s a fun thing to do.”
Ann DeBien of Mechanicsburg drives one hour each way to attend the tasting.
“This is wonderful,” DeBien said. “It’s worth asking a vacation day off for.”

Kaytie, Alaine, and Becky Greenawalt
Take Turns Tasting

Bryton and Donovan Hazleton sample a Cherokee Green
"Not all Tomatoes are Red" 
This was also the second year we sponsored a salsa contest.  Celebrity judges, Commissioner Dave Keller, and 2010 winner Darl Hospelhorn chose Michael Kusco's entry, while the people's choice award went to Mary Crooks.

Mike Kusco

Mary Crooks

11 Year Old Annie Dingzon - Our Youngest Entrant
Angela Weathers and Harry Stutts showed off their grower prowess with tomatoes from their home gardens weighing nearly 2 lbs each.

Angela Weathers
Harry Stutts

Volunteers Pick on Monday 8/22
Much thanks goes to event coordinator Linda Watkins and all the volunteers and Penn State Extension staff of Franklin County who contributed to its success.  Planning started in January, selecting varieties.  Then came the seed starting and potting up the seedlings in March and April.  In late May 120 plants were planted and tended throughout the season by Extension's summer assistant, Autumn Phillips.  On Monday, August 22nd, teams of pickers picked and washers washed.  Tuesday, finalized handouts were collated, spread sheets set up, and keys and scoring sheets prepared for the public, all leading up to the teams of Master Gardener volunteers, setting up, slicing and dicing, and anchoring (literally, given the wind gusts that day) the information tables.  On top of all that, Denise Lucas, Peg Bundy and their team decorated the areas with flower and vegetable arrangements, while feeding the hungry hordes of volunteers, Extension Staff, and county maintenance troops who keep our facility in good condition.  Special mention goes to Laurie Collins, whose extraordinary data entry skills allowed us to have the 164 score sheets tallied and ready for distribution by Thursday morning.  Thanks, folks, and take a bow for a job well done.  Cheers!

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