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natekurz July 12, 2014 06:46 PM

NORCATT 2014: Saturday August 9, Tilden Park (Berkeley)
The 2014 Tomatoville Northern California Tomato Tasting is happening!

Saturday August 9
Quarry Picnic Site
Tilden Park near Berkeley


BBQ starts at 1 pm (burgers provided if you RSVP).

Tomato Tasting at 3 pm (bring tomatoes if you can).

$5 per person donation requested to cover the site rental.

Bring tomatoes for the tasting. Bring seeds to swap. Bring a dish to share if you feel like it. Bring beverages of your choice. I'll provide burgers (veggie and beef), buns, standard BBQ condiments, along with cutting boards and knives for the tomato tasting.

Technically, the picnic site is reserved from 10 am to 6 pm. I need to be there the whole time to ensure our reservation, so feel free to drop by early to hang out or help set up.

Fred Hempel August 2, 2014 08:05 PM

Next Saturday looks good for me.

I will try to be there between 1 and 2.

Thank you so much for putting this together!

Fred Hempel August 4, 2014 02:35 PM

Who else is going to this thing? Come on Bay Area!

Virtex August 8, 2014 12:35 AM

I will be going! I just drove through the location on Google maps looks like a nice park!

- Scott

natekurz August 8, 2014 05:56 PM

I've decided to cancel the event based on low anticipated turnout. I didn't want people to make the drive and then be disappointed. I've sent PM's to the few people who were able to commit, but anyone who was thinking of dropping by unannounced should hold off until (maybe) next year.

Fred Hempel August 10, 2014 07:48 PM


Thanks for making the effort!

Where are you growing tomatoes. Maybe postponing until September would work. Most of us will have better tomatoes then (in the Bay Area).

heirloomtomaguy August 11, 2014 11:40 PM

Sorry Nate i had an issue at work come up so i could not make it anyway. Thanks for all the effort. Hopefully next year.

natekurz August 14, 2014 02:32 PM

Although the event was cancelled, Virtex and his wife decided to come up anyway. We met at the picnic site, took a short hike, and then came back to my house to taste tomatoes and have lunch. He brought about 20 varieties, and I've got about that number growing here.

Standouts of his for me were Little Lucky (fantastically intense flavor) and Blush (a little less intense, but wonderful). Of mine that he hadn't tried, Sweet Ozark Orange (beautiful large orange slicer) and Ania (small and intense) seemed to win out.

The lunch obviously had to feature tomatoes, so we decided on bruschetta. Toasted Semifreddi's sour dough, Bozzano A2 olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh made mozzarella. Fantastic. If you haven't made mozzarella at home before, you should. It's delicious and easy: [url][/url]

natekurz August 14, 2014 02:39 PM

[QUOTE=Fred Hempel;427046]Where are you growing tomatoes. Maybe postponing until September would work. Most of us will have better tomatoes then (in the Bay Area).[/QUOTE]

I'm in Orinda, which is just inland from Oakland and Berkeley. This worked out to be good timing for me, as just about all varieties I'm growing have something ripe, and none have finished for the season. There are so many microclimates around there that it's difficult to pick the right time. While I think a couple more weeks into August might be a better compromise, Virtex, who was coming up from San Jose, was already winding down with some varieties. In past years, even early September is pushing it for me.

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