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nctomatoman June 2, 2013 11:01 AM

Tomatopalooza 2013 (#11) will most likely not happen...
As a large, organized event (such as we've had the past half dozen years or so), it just can't happen this year for many reasons....all those involved in organizing it in recent years are facing health or availability issues. We've had a remarkable run - ten years - and it grew from a small gathering at a local park into something that ended up being discussed in magazines and books and drew people far and wide. In fact, this year it is a victim of its success - the number of attenders/tasters ended up far outnumbering the organizing staff and actual participants (meaning donation of tomatoes to taste).

So it is indeed a great time to take a pause and see what that brings.....if it is meant to happen again in the future, I am sure people will emerge that wish to support and drive the event, but it will also take major rethinking strategically so that it has a more certain foundation, especially in terms of tomato supply..

All of those involved really enjoyed it - but we also enjoyed it much more early on. Speaking for myself, the last few years felt more like work than something to enjoy. Too much pressure to supply tomatoes - and I can't even remember the last one that I got to taste and ponder and think about what I was tasting, rather than fret about how the day was going or guard the Dwarf table!

But, again, speaking for myself, I am grateful for all those who contributed over the years - by coming long distances, bringing tomatoes, slicing, discussing - it was an amazing run indeed!

nctomatoman July 15, 2013 01:38 PM

I just posted this on the Tomatopalooza website


feldon30 July 20, 2013 09:57 PM

Given the bizarre weather in the Carolinas this year, it sure makes it difficult to guarantee quality and quantity.

My tomatoes here on the NC/SC border came in the first week of July and my plants are just about dead already. You'd think I were still in Houston. :o

livinonfaith July 21, 2013 02:29 PM

Maybe it's just as well. As you say Feldon, It would be hard for a lot of us to commit to bringing tomatoes with the sporadic nature of the weather.

In my case, I actually have more, and larger, tomatoes this year than ever before, at least at this moment. (Although only a few varieties that are ripe yet) I would love to share the ones I have with other people, if I could. But they are just not fit for a tasting.

I don't know if it is all of the rain we've had or if it is the disease that is taking over the plants. All of these big beautiful tomatoes, glistening on the plate, but when you take a bite there's nothing but bland, bland bland. No better than a grocery store tomato.

It hasn't rained in the last few days, so I'm holding out hope that some of the ones ripening right now will have more flavor.

Unfortunately, many of my plants were set out late and so they were later to set fruit. Since most of them are on their way down with disease, a lot of the fruit may not even get close to ripe before they die.

Maybe next year will be a better tomato year and the event can be re-organized in a smaller, fairer way. I would still love to meet some of the people on this site in person and would love to contribute what tomatoes I have and taste varieties others have grown.

gssgarden July 21, 2013 03:59 PM

I agree Feldon. Plants are past there peak and going downward fast! HAS to have something to do with 21 days in a row with rain!! :(

Flavor has changed for every plant over the last two weeks!!

If it were to happen even next week, it would be hard for me to bring even 4 out of my 18 plants.


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