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Earl August 18, 2007 11:27 PM

2007 CHOPTAG Tomato Taste Fest results
2007 CHOPTAG Tomato Taste Fest Observations

First let me say I have permission from the President to make this first post [he’s busy at some dinner or some such function and didn’t have to go home and juice 3 gallons of tomatoes collected from CHOPTAG tables which will be canned tomorrow and shared as CHOPTAGer Juice at this coming Plant Share Meet.] :-)

Pictures will come later after the commentary. Let me say that CHOPTAGers [and tomato growers in general] are the greatest people to be with!!!! There’s a few exceptions as always, but tomato growers are a breed apart. I don’t know why, I just except it as fact.

I had a wonderful time as did Kathy and Walt [Kathy’s dad].

I wondered if David was going to show up [a few private smiles as to why], but he did. By Golly he took the place by storm. Had the best looking table of tomatoes [for which he didn’t get an award] but he took Best Looking and Best Tasting! Plus he’s a real gentleman. Jerry tried to shovel off the CHOPTAG presidency onto David but he declined the honor. :-) Jerry refuses to admit he been elected for life, sort of like a King saddled with the responsibility of taking care of a bunch of waifs. :-)

I got to meet a lot of new CHOPTAGers, and I won’t call their names because I can’t remember all of them. LOL! Terry won the Largest Award and Ken won the Ugliest Award. I hope everyone who attended will post something about the event which they enjoyed. And please, if you took pictures please post them.

Patrina_Pepperina August 18, 2007 11:31 PM

Looking forward to pics and taste reports Earl! Bring 'em on folks :D


Thomas August 19, 2007 08:14 AM

You couldn't have said it better Earl. Everyones tables looked great.

Can't wait to see what the "CHOPTAG" juice looks like:shock: Can you take some of it and put a little yeast in it:lol:


tomatoaddict August 19, 2007 01:11 PM

LOL... You're a hoot David. Who knows, maybe it would be good. 8)

JerryL August 19, 2007 03:10 PM

14 Attachment(s)
[SIZE=2]First let me say thanks to everyone who showed up yesterday. I can’t speak for anyone else but I had a great time. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]A couple of highlights, in no particular order:[/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]Remy & hubby coming from New York. That’s dedication. And the dogs were great.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]David (Thomas) & wife – first timers – coming from Chillicothe OH. – brought more tomatoes than you could imagine – basket after basket full.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]Of course VGary never misses an event. Thanks to Larry and Cathy for joining him. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]CHOPTAG dedicated this year’s event to a good friend of Gary’s and to the tomato/gardening community in general, Bert Searcy Jr - known here and at other gardening forums as Spider. Bert past away this past May.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]We had a few more first timers come from just over the river in Northern KY. Amy and Tony, who I met this spring when they were selling heirloom tomato plants in Covington, KY brought tomatoes and friends[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]One of those friends was Mark. Mark only brought one variety. But man is it something special IMHO. Working name – Cherokee Sausage – A beautiful & Tasty (IMHO) cross between Cherokee Purple and Sausage. – (Pic below)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]So, on to some of the Award Winners. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]The winner of the prettiest tomato was Berkley Tye Dye brought by David. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]The ugliest went to Ken, but I don’t think we ever found out what variety it was. He was to ashamed to tell us. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]The largest and heaviest went to a Red Barn brought by Terry. Weight – 1lb 12 ¾ oz. – 16 ¾ inches in circumference.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]Now for the TASTIEST. While we all love to kid the Southern Hemisphere folks I guess it’s time to acknowledge they produce some great tomatoes. This year’s winner of the CHOPTAG Tastiest tomato goes to none other than Grub’s Mystery Green. Congratulations Grub – David brought the winning tomato so he gets the certificate but you get the honor of knowing you shared a prize winning and tremendous tasting tomato with us.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]I’ve attached a few pictures: Most of the gang, Cherokee Sausage, Tables – Mark, Dave, Remy, Earl, Lisa, Gary, Amy, David, Susan, Mine – (Terry came a little late – I apologize for missing her table.), Red Barn – Heaviest & Biggest, And the TASTIEST _ David wit Grub’s Mystery Green.[/SIZE]

[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]Back Row – Left to Right:[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]Steve (hubby of Miss Mudcat), Mark, Dave (Dave Z6), Skip, Steve, Ray (rsolinski), Deborah (wife of JerryL), David (Thomas), Kathy (wife of Earl), Earl, Walt (father of Kathy)[/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]Middle Row – Left to Right: [/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]Char (wife of Dave Z6), Gary (VGary), Lisa (Miss Mudcat), Carolyn, Remy, Susan (Toot-a-loo), Kim (wife of Thomas)[/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]Front Row – Left to Right:[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]Tony (hubby of Amy), Amy (wife of Tony), Jerry (JerryL)[/SIZE][/FONT]

nctomatoman August 19, 2007 03:19 PM

Great report, Jerry - nice pics - glad that the day was a great success! Hey, what's up with green fleshed PL varieties taking best flavored awards? Now I KNOW I will have to get a place of distinction for Grub's Mystery Green next year.

That Cherokee Sausage looks like a great tomato - something that I would love to try some day!

Rena August 19, 2007 03:29 PM

GMG?? Ok I need to also give it a better spot next year. I love the greens. I am guessing the pretty lady with the baby is Miss Mudcat? Pretty baby!:lol: :lol: :lol:

JerryL August 19, 2007 03:32 PM

[SIZE=2]Well I know Grub is going to get a big head over this, :lol: :lol: but maybe he deserves it. It is a great tasting tomato. :mrgreen: Way to go Grub!!!!![/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]As far as the Cherokee Sausage is concerned I’m not sure Mark plans to do with it. All I know is it’s a great tasting paste. To me it has that typical black tomato taste – smoky. He’s getting various size fruit off the same plant. The one in the picture is a small one. He had some twice that big. I’ll let him weigh in with the rest of the details.[/SIZE]

nctomatoman August 19, 2007 04:07 PM

It looks quite different from the other purple paste type - Purple Russian - more slender, green shoulders (looks like a purple version of Opalka). Would fill a nice niche!

montanamato August 19, 2007 04:14 PM

You guys know how to have fun...
I have a Grubs Mystery green that is loaded as we speak...I guess I will have to baby that plant a little more as it is going to be nip and tuck getting vine ripes off it...
Any other taste notes from anyone would be super....


Thomas August 19, 2007 05:37 PM

I thought the Cherokee Sausage had a taste close to Cherokee Purple..but looked almost identical to my Purple Russian sliced.

Suze gets a shout out from me for sending the BTD seeds to my garden. I have gotten more comments from that mater than any other. (Way to go Brad!)

I hope that all the GMG pieces and left over maters that I gave away at the end give those CHOPTAGers something to share with their friends and family next year;)
I had followed alot of Spiders threads here on was great to learn about him on a more personal note from a true friend of his. I knew then and there that I was surrounded by good folks:!:

We also learned more about the [B]Appalachian Heirloom Seed[/B] [B]Conservancy.. [/B]if you don't know of should;)

The tastiest thing I brought was not my was the jally halves (Earl, did you eat the rest yet?):lol:


korney19 August 19, 2007 05:43 PM

Can somebody name who's who in the group pic? (I already recognize Gary & Earl...)

carolyn137 August 19, 2007 06:37 PM

About Red Barn.

Several years back we had a wet summer here and I had two varieties that gave me fruits that were close to 3#. One was Red Barn and the other one was Tidwell German. So I'm not surprised that Red Barn won the heaviest and biggest.

But what about the taste? I thiunk it's pretty darn good. It's in that same group of tomatoes that Joe Bratka's father bred which includes Box Car Wille, Great Divide, Pasture ( forget about that one,:lol:) and Mule Team.

Oh how I wish I could grow more varieties than I can now. In retrospect I now realize how blessed I was to be able to grow upwards of several hundred plants each year with 100 to 200 different varieties.

I read about so many new varieties that I want to grow and just can't do it now that I'm confined to just 14 plants a year that someone else has to take care of. Oh well, it could be worse and was this year with my total take off 14 plants being 2 Bloody Butchers, 5 Black Cherries, 2 Sherrill's and 2 Danko's and 1 Tsar of Bells. And I won't be getting anything from the other 9 plants, each a different variety. But there's always next year.:)

Grub August 19, 2007 07:46 PM

Congratulations to champion grower David, the astute judgse, thanks for the great report Jerry, and for everyone's efforts.

Tables look awesome and I see lots of friendly tomato faces. Thanks for sharing what looks like a great day.

I think GMG has a real complexity to it and am thrilled that it's made its way into some NH gardens and now, just maybe, a few more.

A great result, indeed! I am way over the moon.

Good growing, Grub.

Geat looking tables and tomato faces.

tomatoaddict August 19, 2007 08:24 PM

Grub, I tasted David's GMG and it was superb. Matter of fact, I stole one of them (with his permission) to save the seed from the winning tomato. :mrgreen:

Also, Carolyn is correct in the taste of Red Barn. It is not only a lovely looking tomato, the taste is very good. Mild but juicy.

I loved Remy's Carbon. I actually asked her if she put something on it because it tasted so sweet. Excellent taste.

Lisa's Kimberly cross cherry tomato was so good!!
Probably one of the sweetest cherries I've ever tasted.

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