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Sunday, August 08, 2010


I had the great fortune this year to have James Worley guru me through growing some heirloom tomatoes. The experience has been the total opposite of my last attempt at semi-large-scale gardening, 1993.

And from the time I bought my plants from him (or maybe even before that), he's been reminding me to come to this tomato tasting.

And of course I wouldn't have missed it for anything except, maybe, if it had been my year to have the girls for the County Fair, we'd have been riding Daisy in the parade.

Valuable prizes (ten free Worley plants for next year, for instance) were awarded for Heaviest Tomato, Ugliest Tomato and Tomato Art. I think the last category turned into a door prize or something when nobody brought tomato art.

There were 70 varieties of tomato on offer, about two per person who showed up.

And you can tell men who have good taste by the shirts they wear and the tomatoes they grow. And talk about a small world, Keith (on the right) is someone I already know through church and other friends, and it turns out he's the mad scientist horticulturalist of the local tomato scene.

He's de-hybridizing something, I think. When you start talking alleles, the check-engine light on my forehead lights up and I process nothing.

I didn't quite sample all 70, but I made an honest effort at it. I know I want to grow Juanne Flamme, Barracker's Favorite, Sun Gold, Black Cherry and Japanese Black Trifele next year. Probably Aussie, too, though the red beefsteaks are probably my overall least favorite. I tend to enjoy the black and gold varieties quite a bit more.

And I love a bi-color. No Berkeley Tie Dyes were on offer but maybe next year.

Julie kept snapping pics of this little girl, and she was so focused and intent, I had my camera practically in her face and I clicked every time she did, and she didn't even notice.

I won a valuable prize myself for the Heaviest Tomato. A 14 oz. Carbon (they usually don't get that big). I had a Kellogg's Breakfast that was twice that, but I ate it. At one sitting, now that I think of it (can you spell gluttony?)

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