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PaulF August 24, 2008 08:15 PM

2008 Fest Photos and results
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2008 is the best yet for the Mid-West Fest. There were 45 people in attendance and 67 difference varieties to taste. We decided to list our three favorites and true to most tastings by a bunch of people we had thirty varieties listed out of the sixty-seven as favorites. The most listed favorites in order of most votes were:

Black Cherry
Arkansas Traveller
Kellogg's Breakfast
Kosovo, Brad's Black Heart, Butter and Bulls Heart, Cherokee Purple, Carbon. A late entry, Old Brooks would have gotten several votes.

Even with a record number of tasters and varieties to taste, we are still a small, friendly group.

Lee August 24, 2008 09:20 PM

Wow! Looks like a great time. Glad to hear it went so well, and thanks for
the photos. Always great to see the different tomato festivals out there.
So, which was you personal favorite this year? Any new additions that stood out at the tasting?

Again, congrats on your sucessful event!


PaulF August 25, 2008 10:15 AM

My personal favorite this year....and I thought I would never be saying this about a cherry tomato.... is Black Cherry. I pop them just like candy. This year I grew lots of blacks and hearts and for regular (my description because the bigger the better) sized tomatoes is Butter and Bulls Heart and one that I did not have a ripe tomato so I couldn't bring to the Fest, Julie's Red Heart.

I think the real stand-out for a "new-to-our-group" tomato was the Black Cherry. With 45 different sets of taste buds, there was not a single adverse comment about it.

But if you are asking whether there was any one individual who stood out, Maggie, one of the younger regulars (fourth year and probably in her late twenties) is expecting a new tomatovillian.

piegirl August 25, 2008 10:30 PM

Great work with the photos Paul. The tomato stupor is finally wearing off - I actually ate one right out the garden awhile ago. We had a super turn out - more than I ever imagined. Great food, great tomatoes and great people. I will have to check Paul's growing list but one of his was my favorite along with Hungarian heart. And we had our share of spitters. The picnic shelter is located right next to one of our bike trails and everyone was going in that direction to spit. Last night I thought oh, we were so into the tomato tasting, etc that we didn't realize several 100 people probably rode by wondering why (and what) those people were spitting and throwing in the grass! Maggie will have our first tomato fest baby in December and I am sure baby tomato will be at the fest next year! Piegirl

huntoften September 9, 2008 06:15 PM

Wish we could have made it...sounds like a blast! Maybe next year!

heirloomer08 November 20, 2008 09:33 PM

Hi, I have in the last few years just gone nuts over tomatoes. The only tomatoes I will raise are heirlooms. I raised 43 varieties this year and saved 15. I have an heirloom farmers market that I started this year. The entire garden has to be heirlooms or I won't raise it. It was tuff getting the general public interested in some of the more unusual varieties of tomatoes. But, once I got the daring to try them the were back for more. I'm hoping next year will be better. This now brings me to the subject of this posting. I am very interested in this Mid-West Tomato Fest. When is it held every year and where? I am from northwest Iowa and would like to get it on my calander for next year and try very hard to attend. Can anybody give me the details? Hope to hear from somebody.
Later, heirloomer08

PaulF November 20, 2008 10:30 PM

Our Fest has been held in August, usually the second or third Sunday, in Lincoln, Nebraska. This year it was at the Lincoln Children's Zoo picnic shelter. The first several years we had between ten and twenty people attending. This year we had a record number of people and tomatoes and a real good time. Piegirl is the coordinator and we will start talking about it in June or July. We talk about our tomatoes all year long. We are an informal bunch of good people having fun; you would be very welcome.

piegirl November 20, 2008 10:33 PM

welcome heirloomer - the Midwest Tomato Fest is held the 2nd or 3rd Sunday in August in Lincoln, NE. We usually don't set the final date until mid July - you know how the growing conditions can be in the midwest. Next year will our 6th or 7th - I've lost count. We had a fantastic turnout last year with a number of folks from Omaha. In years past we have had some from Sioux Fall, SD so please come on down. If you are not familiar with Lincoln, I would be happy to give you 'tour' info. Piegirl

heirloomer08 November 21, 2008 08:35 PM

Thanks for the information PaulF and Piegirl! I will be looking forward to the event. Omaha is a 3 hour drive for me so my guess is that I will be in the neighborhood of a 4 - 4-1/2 hour drive. Not a big deal. I will keep an eye out for the dates. I didn't even get my garden over with this year and I was already planning my 2009 garden. I may have raised 43 varieties of heirloom tomatoes and only saved 15 varieties but I have some new ones already lined up for next year. Sorry, I'm kinda nuts about heirlooms. I'll shut up now.
Later, heirloomer08

MrTudball May 12, 2009 09:09 PM

Wow, I really missed out. Love the pictures, my taste buds are kicking me for missing the last two years, but still, love the pics. I am back in the saddle again this year and cant wait to get back to the fest.

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