We had more than 250 people come to last Saturday’s Washington Gardener Magazine 12th Annual Tomato Taste at the FreshFarm Silver Spring Market. Here are the results of the ballots submitted.
- Red Grape from Spiral Path Farm
- Sun Gold from The Farm at Our House
- Chocolate Cherry from Mock’s Greenhouse
- Field Red from Chicano Sol
- Jaune Flamme from Three Springs Fruit Farm
- Black Cherry from The Farm at Our House
- Cherokee Purple from Three Springs Fruit Farm
Usually, our top few tomatoes are close in votes, but this year the #1 tomato had double the votes that the #2 tomato did (60 versus 30) — so it was a true land-slide. The rest of the pack had in the range of about 20 each and were separated by just a few votes. This shows you that there were no real “losers” in this batch and that every tomato had its share of hard-core fans.
‘Red Grape’ is a firm, cherry-type tomato with a shiny skin and bright, clear red color. The taste is one of overall sweetness. The texture is fairly “meaty” with a nice mouth-feel and is not overly juicy.
Last year, ‘Red Grape’ came in second and ‘Sun Sugar’ was third. You can read the 2018 results here.
Do take a minute to click on the photo link here to view the Facebook album of photos from the event. I think you will agree that the market tomatoes are absolutely gorgeous and very photogenic — and so are the market patrons!
In addition to the tasting, many people stopped by to create colorful tomato art and to pick up the free tomato seeds, growing tips, and recipes that we gave out.
Across the aisle, the UMD Cooperative Extension Service had a nutrition and recipe tasting booth that was giving out samples of a yummy Watermelon-Tomato Salad. That made a great companion for our annual event.
Heather Dylla, (pictured here) won the prize drawing of a gift bag full of gardening tools, tomatoes, market goods, and market money!
Most of the taste attendees were local, though we also had many who came quite a distance. About half live in Silver Spring. Another third live close by in Washington, DC or the neighboring towns of Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, Kensington, Burtonsville, Hyattsville, and Wheaton. From farther away in Maryland, folks came from Rockville, Columbia, Laurel, Clarksville, Riverdale, Crofton, Brunswick, Frederick, and Greenbelt. Some crossed the river from Virginia. From out of the area, we even had votes from New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Florida!
Thank you to all who came and participated. Thanks to the farmers for growing great tomatoes and to FreshFarm Markets staff for hosting us. Special thanks also to our volunteers Taykor, Kay, and Lexi for helping with all the tomato sample cutting, vote tallying, and helping greet all the tasters in the short two-hour event!