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Cecilia_MD7a August 22, 2010 12:50 PM

MAGTAG 2010 - Winners and Notes
Another year, another MAGTAG. It didn't threaten to rain like last year or reach 99 degrees like two years ago, so I am grateful. Here are this year's stats:

Largest Tomato: Cuostralee, grown by John Dickenson - 1 lb. 10.4 oz.

Number of attendees (I added a few folks who didn't sign in, i.e., Brian Flynn and his daughter, and my brother Joe and nephew Andy - just what we need, more Flynns and Straknas): 48

Number of Tomato Varieties entered: 40

Top Twenty:

1. Sungold Volunteers - Suzy Strakna
2. Morx White F2 (aka Groucho Morx) - Greg Flynn
3. Riesentraube - John Dickenson
4. Earl's Faux - Greg Flynn
5. Emily - Greg Flynn
6. Morx Black F2 (aka Chico Morx) - Greg Flynn
7. Norduke - Trudi & Steve Davidoff
8. JD's Special C Tex - Greg Flynn
9. Morx Pink F2 (aka Harpo Morx) - Greg Flynn
10. Morx Green F2 (aka Zeppo Morx) - Greg Flynn
11. Lillian's Yellow - Greg Flynn
12. Yellow Currant F2 - Greg Flynn
13. Omar's Lebanese - John Dickenson
14. Kellogg's Breakfast - Greg Flynn
15. Isabel Pink - Greg Flynn
16. Gold Currant - Anne Bertinuson
17. Cherokee Purple - Greg Flynn
18. Penn Heart - Trudi & Steve Davidoff
19. Cuostralee - John Dickenson
20. Mortgage Lifter - Joe Biedzynski

Also, our book raffle raised $70 for Trudi's non-profit, Trudi did a masterful job of explaining how her group works with people in Africa to help grow food.

My comments: This is the first year in MAGTAG history that a 'mater grown by Greg Flynn has not placed first. Yes, it was an upset victory for Suzy Strakna! Greg won in 2006 with Black Cherry, 2007 with Sungold, 2008 with Black Cherry again, and 2009 with what I assume to be the original Morx.

Although we had more attendees this year than last, we had fewer tomato varieties. This seems to be a trend - looking back, we had 84 varieties in 2006! I know that a few of our former regulars (bluekat and Dunkel, for example) who grew scads of tomatoes, haven't attended recently. I also know that this spring/summer's weather was just awful. I'm a fine one to complain, because the only toms I entered this year were some that a friend gave me. My plants have completely petered out.

But we need to find ways to encourage more people the grow their own plants with MAGTAG in mind. I already serve as plant pusher for Suzy and Janet M; and I give away lots of plants at the GW Spring Swap, but few people (except for the regulars) bring their wares to MAGTAG. Greg F., Jette and Janet M were discussing the prospect of starting a MAGTAG Facebook page - maybe this would help? I'm hampered by a shortage of yard space, although I may grow more in pots next year. And I know that a lot of you have shady yards. But we have to do something to encourage more attendees to bring samples to taste.

Anyway, I had a great time and want to thank everybody who attended and/or helped. Boy, my left arm hurts today - It's been a while since I tossed the ol' pigskin around. I need to brush up on my spiral.

Cecilia_MD7a August 22, 2010 01:57 PM

Informal Tomato tasting
I forgot to mention -

Two of this year's MAGTAG attendees, Nancy and Jack O'Donnell, asked me to announce that they will hold an informal tomato tasing and croquet tournament at their home in Frederick on October 2. If any of you are interested, email Nancy at or call at 301-695-5800.

Tomatoes in October? Well, it IS possible ... I've had them ripening into November in the past.

gflynn August 22, 2010 10:01 PM

I really liked Norduke this year and Absinth from the previous year, both of which were part of Trudi's posse. Apparently Norduke is from USDA seed collection, meaning that she is breaking out old created varieties that are true heirlooms that the USDA saw fit to save for posterity. Very cool!

Speaking to Hank and others I got the impression that folks didn't want to enter stuff that they felt was bad-tasting. Hank is an entrepreneur who offers several acres of land for tomato picking. He chose a very productive variety called Mountain Fresh so that he could maximize the value of his land while providing a desirable product for the public. He stated this variety doesn’t stand up to the Brandywine, Dr. Wyche or Cherokee Purple he brought and entered, however, Mountain Fresh is an important and relevant variety!

I would encourage everyone to bring all types of tomatoes and enter them so that people can taste and see for themselves. Part of our mission is to inform the public about tomato variety. We are presenting truly good things for people to try who will be impressed and reconsider their ideas about food.

All tomatoes are not red and all food is not meat and potatoes. My kids eat EVERYTHING! This is how it should be. I had a young lady tell me, “I don’t eat vegetables”. Can you imagine? We have a job to do here. Let people know the goodness of what we grow.

Don't be shy :-) Enter them all!


Cecilia_MD7a August 23, 2010 10:48 AM

I agree, Greg - you will recall that the only varieties I entered were my co-worker's mystery roma and Better Boys!

Cecilia_MD7a August 23, 2010 10:53 AM

Another thing - remember that my SIL Suzy won first place (BEATING GREG FLYNN!!) for "Sungold Volunteers." These were plants that sprung up where she planted Sungold (a hybrid) last year. This and the success of Greg's "Morx Brothers" (is there a fifth one that we can call Gummo?) proves that even an "unnamed" or accidental variety can do very well. So even if all you have is a tomato plant like the one growing on the roof of my office building (where a bird decided to poop the seed out), bring along the fruit!

hank August 24, 2010 09:39 PM

So Cecilia, are you sayin' that Suzy wasn't the dog in the picture ?? Just kidding of course, but the pup was looking very proud.
Good comments Greg. Ya know, those Cherokee Ps were taken from the bags I could not sell amidst the Mountain Fresh perfect looking toms that were.
I worry a bit about the expenses. Any way an accounting could be made and a way for donations to be sent to the persons spending the money? I feel that the people doing all the work are also bearing aoll the expenses.

gflynn August 25, 2010 09:39 AM


I would love to see pictures of your Pick-your-own garden. Also, Cecelia and I do this for love and aren't to concerned about money. We made back the cost of the Pavilion from the tip jar and lots of folks brought stuff just as we did so I don't think Cecelia or I felt slighted.

I do think I left a tomato behind, however. Did anyone see it?


hank August 27, 2010 07:12 PM

It was really great to see everyone again. Feel special knowing parents, siblings and children of tomato lovers in Baltimore and really look forward to seeing all again next year. Cheryll

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