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Lee June 20, 2007 08:22 AM

Tomatopalooza[tm] V - Event and Pictures
Announcing the fifth annual Tomatopalooza[tm] heirloom tomato tasting!

Note the location has changed this year to a nearby farm in Efland, NC.


For more information go to the tomatopalooza[tm] web page below.



feldon30 June 22, 2007 09:51 AM

Nice poster. ;) I wish you a successful event! :)

Lee July 28, 2007 10:19 PM

Tomatopalooza[tm] V - Event and Pictures
Here's the link for the pictures from the 2007 event.




Lee July 28, 2007 10:22 PM


It's been a long and tiring day. Needless to say it was a great one!

I will post about the event later, after I've had time to absorb it all. However, check out the new link for the 2nd best part of the event, the pictures!


dcarch July 28, 2007 10:32 PM

Looks like an incredible event! I wish I were there.

Thanks for posting the pictures.


nctomatoman July 28, 2007 10:56 PM

Another album that was sent to me.


Zana July 28, 2007 10:57 PM

Looks like y'all had a fabulous time and had a serious selection to wade through in the taste testing department. Wish I could've been there, but I'd already committed to working at the Windsor (ON) Pride event this weekend. After looking at all those pics I'm going to go crash in my hotel room and have visions of heirloom maters dancing in my head! Thanks for posting the pics.


Worth1 July 28, 2007 11:41 PM

I'm glad yawl had a good time it looks like a 1966 gathering of the tribes reunion with all of the tie dye shirts.
I'm also glad you all are back as the forum was dead while you guys were gone.

I set Tomatoville back about 2 years with all of the misinformation and total lies I gave out.:lol:


nctomatoman July 28, 2007 11:45 PM

What an incredible day! Tomatopalooza V was quite a day (and a long one at that...though worth it in every respect).

Amongst the highlights for Sue and I -

meeting Mischka, Rena, Suze, Feldon, Shelleybean for the first time - as well as other Tomatovillians such as Jim and Celticman and NCTim. (We are so happy that you intrepid travelers made the trip!).

The warm hospitality and incredible venue provided by hosts Jimmy and Fred. It was absolultely perfect - even the unexpected strong late morning breeze and rain and rumbles of thunder were welcome.

The food, the music, the dancing - it was day that was about so much more than tomato tasting.

But the tomatoes - it was all kind of a blur, and I spent most of the time at the Dwarf Table - but people seemed to love them, it was an impressive collection, and the flavors were really good on the vast majority of what I ended up tasting.

Well, it is off to bed for me. Safe travels to all returning home - let's do it again next year!

Finally, thanks to Lee for all of the work that he put in to making this a great success.

Relevant stats - probably approaching 200 tomatoes and over 120 attendees.....I am sure that Lee will have a more accurate tomato count soon.

NCTIM July 28, 2007 11:51 PM

[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]Hey folks,[/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]What a wonderful time we had today at Tomatopalooza. This was my 3rd trip and by far the most meaningful. It’s really heartwarming to be a part of the hospitality that was shared today at our gathering. I didn’t meet a stranger today. I was surrounded by genuinely good folk, that were eager to share their thoughts and smiles. My Uncle returned for his 2nd ‘palooza and each time I looked for him he was talking with someone. My friend Bob is already looking forward to coming back next year. [/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]It was great to see familiar friends like Craig and Lee and others that I recognized from past trips but it was especially nice to have met those that I had not met before. I heard it said many times today how nice it is to associate a face with a screen name and I agree. I know I didn’t talk everyone that was there that posts here, but I did talk to some. I spent a few minutes talking with Mischka and no longer think of him as the Wizard of Oz. :) Mischka is very friendly and unbelievably easy to talk with. It’s no wonder he has been so successful in his endeavors. I was very happy to met and speak with Suze. She has been very kind to me and if memory serves me, she is the person who invited me first to Tomatoville. It was a pleasure to meet Rena and Morgan as well. The fact that all of you went to such lengths to attend speaks highly of your sincerity. Jim and his grandson, both from Columbia S.C., had a wonderful story to share about how Jim’s interest in gardening has been picked up by the grandson. Next year I need to try growing Ashley cucumber.[/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]So my thanks go out to Craig, Lee and our host Jimmy Holcomb, as well as their spouses. [/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]My favorite tomato today was Little Lucky and Rasp Red.[/SIZE][/FONT]

[SIZE=3][FONT=Times New Roman]Black Scorpion wins the hot pepper award. [/FONT][/SIZE]

gardenmama July 29, 2007 12:06 AM

I am sooooo bummed that I wasn't able to make the trip this year. (%#^*&$ back.)
Thanks to Michele and Carol I was represented in "spirit" with the Lime Green Salad Sorbet. And also thanks to Michele (Happy Birthday to you Shelleybean) I was able to hold a mini tasting with Elfie (yummmmm).
I'm inking in the last Saturday in July 2008 for Tomatopalooza [tm] VI!!

nctomatoman July 29, 2007 12:06 AM

19 Attachment(s)
Some pictures (I always set out to take lots, but get caught up in slicing, tasting and talking tomatoes.....oh well - glad there are others better than I at photodocumenting these events!).

Suze July 29, 2007 03:08 AM

5 Attachment(s)
Congratulations to the hosts for successful and fun filled event! Lee, Craig, Jimmy, and others -- it was a pleasure finally getting to meet and put a face with a name.

While I didn't get to taste every single tomato, I did get to try several, and the some of the real standouts from the dwarf table included Sneezy F3 Summertime Green RL 2, Tipsy F1, and Sleezy B F3 Bruce's Purple RL1.


Other standouts included an (unknown) German heirloom, Little Lucky, and Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Red.


Here are some more pictures, mostly taken by Morgan (a couple by me). I thought I'd go ahead and upload a few of the many he took:

dcarch July 29, 2007 08:09 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Merged pictures taken by Craig.

shelleybean July 29, 2007 08:11 AM

Thanks, Martha! I had a great birthday. Thanks to Rena's scoopnig , Carol and I were able to serve the sorbet and everybody loved it.

carolyn137 July 29, 2007 08:53 AM

Great pictures, please keep them coming.:)

Any chance of IDing some of those in the pictures?

And where was the four legged Mischka in all of this crowd?:lol:

How I would have loved to have been there and you all know it. How I would love to be at any of the gatherings closest to me, but what is, is.

In the meantime I've got 2# of store bought tomatoes in the fridge, yes, in the fridge and don't tell me it will ruin the taste b'c there wasn't any before they were put there.

And tomorrow I'll get someone to bring in what I think are a couple of ripe ones on my Bloody Butcher, to see if they're all mini-beefsteaks or if the first two were a fluke.

Soon I expect to have some other ones ripe. What does soon mean? Well maybe mid to late August.:lol: After all, it has been quite rainy and cool with a few hot days in between and we all know that:

Patience is a virtue
Find it if you can
You'll find it in a woman
But seldom in a man.

No hard feelings guys, but what is, is.:)

feldon30 July 29, 2007 09:46 AM

It was really a fantastic event and I was thrilled to be a part of it. Craig and Lee are consummate hosts and have really set a high bar for tomato tastings! :) There were ~125 attendees and over 180 tomato varieties represented, including the massive dwarf project table (actually 5 tables). I took a picture of every single dwarf and then lots of other photos (~140) and will post them soon.

Suze already mentioned my favorites from the dwarf project (a purple, a red, a green, and a gold).

Other tomatoes I liked were of course Cherokee Purple, also Stump of the World, German Heirloom (an unknown variety with astounding flavor), Coustralee (so sweet!), Goose Creek, and Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Red. Little Lucky was a barnstormer for me. Totally different taste to me than Lucky Cross.

As Craig posted before, the event took place at Jimmy's incredible setup. Surrounded by old stone farm buildings, Jimmy's house includes a relaxing open-air architectural pavilion. The garden is scaled up to match the surrounding acres (which had just been baled). A massive iron pyramid was home to a half dozen varieties of gourds. Beans and cucumbers were on giant trellises. The asparagus beds looked fantastic (they were already ferned out at full height after a good harvest this spring). And of course the clogging was quite fun to watch. Here are some folks who got together to recreate clog folk dancing of 60 years ago and put on events all over. And the musicians were quite talented as well.

Having the music and clogging really did bump the level of the event up beyond the fantastic level it already is known for.

I'm looking forward to next year's event!

dcarch July 29, 2007 09:49 AM

2 Attachment(s)
[quote=carolyn137;67992]Great pictures, please keep them coming.:)
Any chance of IDing some of those in the pictures?
And where was the [B]four legged Mischka[/B] in all of this crowd?:lol:

For your convenience.
The [B]four legged Mischka[/B] was holding the camera?:lol:


feldon30 July 29, 2007 10:06 AM

I bulked up my post above.

nctomatoman July 29, 2007 10:14 AM

Let me take shot at IDing people from the long photo using the number referece in dcarch's post - I am sure I am missing some, so feel free to edit this.

Tomatovillians -

45 - Craig (Mischka)
50 - Rena (IMISSCOLO)
51 - daughter of Rena
44 - Suze
38 - Morgan (Feldon) - the tallest of allest!
41 - my Sue
33 - Jim (JimSC) and 28 - son Andrew
35 - sooby
26 - GManess
54 - Fried Okra (host Jimmy)
42, 46 - journalist/author Debbie Moose and her husband

Lee and I were both behind cameras

some of my spring time seedling customers - 7, 9, 52, 53, 31, 23, 24

nctomatoman July 29, 2007 10:36 AM

My quickie diary of the day - now that I've had some sleep (a very deep one....midnight to 8 AM), some good coffee, a blueberry apple Dutch baby and a run thru the NY Times Crossword (about 15% filled in)....

So, up early yesterday morning - start preparations at 7:30 AM, loading the tables into the truck, laying the tomatoes into 8 newspaper lined plastic mesh trays, transplanted some of the second round Dwarfs to bring for Lee and Tim, and Sue and I were off at 9:30.

Once we left highway 40 via the Efland exit, we knew that we were in for a treat - from highway to idyllic countryside, rolling fields, just the kind of venue that would be perfect. I was a steamy NC summer morning, already into the 80s - we arrived at Jimmy and Fred's house to find Lee setting up tables. What a setting - there was a wooden stage for the clogging, the surroundings well described by Morgan - and a spacious area under a large tree for setting up the tables.

After a quick strategy session, we settled on the locations - where to lay out the tomaotes, the dwarf project, name tag table, food tables. It took a good two hours to set out the tomatoes - Lee had the tomato ID tags all printed out. While we set up, it clouded over, and a distant thunderstorm sent refreshing breezes our way (which of course flapped our table cloths and sent plates and tomato tags flying!). With some distant rumbles of thunder, we had the combination of possible unwanted rain with the cooling, refreshing impact of the breeze....Lee started his photodocumentation...

Once set up, and after a quick wander through the superb gardens, people started arriving - Rena, then familiar faces from my seedlings sales, then Suze, Morgan and Craig - it was 1:30 and appeared that we may not be all that well attended or tomato-ed. But by 2 PM we were approaching 70 people, Lee and I introduced the event - and we armed ourselves with knives, took tables and started slicing, eating and talking....I manned the dwarf table, and with help from Rena and Suze, started working our way down with the real hard core tomatophiles who tasted and commented on everything. The main comment that really impressed me was from Jim - that we were running a project with no intervention from companies, government, etc- no thought of profit. We looked at that table of a rainbow of colors and sizes and recognized that some of these beauties would, in a few years, be in people's gardens. Very cool! And many of them were very positively received by the tasters. Patrina and Grubs will be less happy with the discipline of tasting and notes...but it was pure tomatoey chaos by that point, and all good!

I never did make it to the other tables. My wife Sue sliced at one, Lee at another - we had a great collection/selection, the tomatoes were pretty uniformly in great condition - there were some incorrect varieties and oddities (a NOT Opalka was the first I noted, as well as a NOT Aker's West Virginia - and Rock Angier produced a very odd green toned Dr Wyche's Yellow!). As people tasted, the food table got busy - there were salsas, salads, soups, white bread was getting slathered with Mayo and turned into BLTs - music started playing, the sun was out. It becomes all a blur after while.

And great conversations - getting to know Rena, Suze, Craig, Morgan were definitely a highlight of the day. We have a very special collection of people here at Tomatoville, united by a love of tomatoes of course, but it transcends that. There was a spirit that permeated the day - it lifted one up, the tomatoes became just symbol for a more grounded, natural way of life, perhaps something someone old fashioned - and this became more evident when the local musicians started playing and people started dancing. It is hard to describe, but my wife and I agreed that it was probably our best day of 2007. It was that good.

I have to give credit for this also to the incredible giving, open nature of Jimmy and Fred - they are very generous people, with their friendship, with allowing us to invade their little slice of heaven. Tomatopaloozas have all been successful, but we really raised the bar on this one. We are already talking about having it in Efland again next year.

What else? Still all a bit of a blur to me. We headed home at dusk - 9 PM, to our two dogs who acted as if they hadn't seen us in 5 years! We took a long walk, we crashed. We have the pictures to remember the event, but really it will be the way that the day touched each one of us in very personal, specific ways.

Just tomatoes? Hah!

carolyn137 July 29, 2007 11:43 AM

Thanks Craig and more ID's from anyone, pretty please.

I knew Craig/Mischka b'c he's visited me and I knew Suze and Morgan from their pictures elsewhere and of course I knew your Sue and Lee as well, and Craig, I want an up to date picture of you. Now. As in ASAP.:roll:

We've known each other for about 18-19 years now and I've watched you change over the years. I want to see what you look like now. Thankfully there are no up to date pictures of me although that huge weight loss did help.:lol: And I'll be darned if I'm going to send to anyone the picture of me in my pink purple dotted bikini from the year________ and me in my fave dress, a long pique one splashed with huge flowers and backless and sideless, from the year______, but I still have that dress, the bikini long since excessed.:lol:

So where was THE DOG???? I love Mischka the dog b/c he's one of the most friendly dogs I've ever met.

Rena, glad to see what you look like . I shared some of your soap with a friend who didn't keep the label and now wants me to ID it. In your dreams. :lol: But I'll be in touch.:)

feldon30 July 29, 2007 11:51 AM

[quote=carolyn137;68011]So where was THE DOG???? I love Mischka the dog b/c he's one of the most friendly dogs I've ever met.:)[/quote]
It was 75 when we got to Tomatopalooza because a cold front had come through and soaked everything. But by the middle of the afternoon, it was 85 degrees and very humid. That's just too hot for the thick-coated Mischka (the dog). Suze and I got to hang around with him though. He's really nice and always looking for attention and affection. :)

nctomatoman July 29, 2007 01:04 PM

Why does everyone take funny looking pics of me? Here are two I found...taken by an attendee named Brian and posted in his album.



carolyn137 July 29, 2007 01:47 PM

[quote=nctomatoman;68022]Why does everyone take funny looking pics of me? Here are two I found...taken by an attendee named Brian and posted in his album.



Funny looking? You say the camera lies?

I'll send you my critique privately.:lol:

Off hand I'd say you're aging gracefully.8)

Fried Okra July 29, 2007 02:00 PM

A very good day
Good morning everybody - Fred and I have spent the morning letting the events of yesterday wash back over us. I've just skimmed the surface of the posts here, looked at a few pictures, and run through a few mental images. I just wanted to say now that I don't think there could possibly be a better day for me than yesterday. Surrounded by the best, realest tomatoes, heirloom music, heirloom dancing (both passed down by friends and families for generations) and good friends. It's an emotional experience for me, and I'm so honored to be a part of it.
One image: a young woman with a handful of tomatoes, with tomato juice running down her chin.
That's a very good day.

shelleybean July 29, 2007 02:41 PM

Thanks so much Jimmy and Fred! I love your gardens, especially your okra and lima beans. What a great place to live! Your hospitality is so appreciated! Bravo!! :mrgreen:

Rena July 29, 2007 03:04 PM

AMAZING! I can say without a doubt I would travel for it next year. I really really loved meeting everyone. It is more then just knowing them from the forum, I can't explain it. True garden friends:)
A. It felt good to actually meet and talk tomato without fear that someone thinks you have gone off your meds. I loved visiting with Everyone. Suze's should of been the tomato queen (the lady knows tomatoes)! Morgan is a delight and was taking on the tomatoes like Julia Child took on wine:lol: . (Carolyn you would be proud)! Craig and his Wife are more lovely in person. Craig looks much younger in person then his photos. I was scared to even try to butcher his name, I waited for someone else to ask him how to say it LOL:lol: I also met Tim but did not have a chance to visit like I wanted (darn kids) Lee was very nice and helpful he did a great job! Mischka-? Mischka well he was back at the Hotel darn it, but the real Craig showed...I just kept laughing as I had an imagine of what I "thought" he looked like and then the Reality! Handsome, nice and funny guy! With a New York accent!
B. Tomatoes- WOW summertime everything was delish. Standouts Summertime Green and Summertime gold (yellow)
C. The Farm. I hope more pics go up. Beautiful. Landscaped simple but ornate I loved it. Ornamental vegetable garden. Thank you for sharing it with us!
Edited to add: I did not know I had met Shelleybean LOL I thought she as a "taster" Martha Your sorbet was a HUGE hit and everyone loved it. FANTASTIC

dokutaaguriin July 29, 2007 06:12 PM

Wow...what an very inspiring!
Thanks to everyone who has posted,

nctomatoman July 29, 2007 06:22 PM

So, Jeff - should be a good deal on plane tickets this far in advance!;)

We just need Lee and Jimmy to work out the date - but July 26 looks pretty good to me!

Same goes for other well-enticed TVillians!

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