Press Release – Best Homegrown Tomato Contest

14 09 2009

From a press release…

 HOW TASTY ARE YOUR TOMATOES?
More than $6,000 in Prizes to be Awarded in Howell for the Best Tomatoes

NatureSweet® Tomatoes are vine-nurtured and hand-picked for homegrown taste. How do yours measure up? The Seventh Annual NatureSweet Best Homegrown Tomato Challenge is coming back to Michigan this year to find out! The event will be held at the Meijer® Flagship store located at 3883 E. Grand River in Howell on Saturday, September 26. Gardeners are invited to bring in their best tomatoes in both the small and large tomato categories for a chance to be one of two $2500 winners! Two runners-up in each category will each receive Meijer gift cards valued at $250.

Other activities at the event include cooking and sampling of tomato recipes, a Master Gardener Q and A Booth, NatureSweet Prize Wheel, Gardening Trivia with a Weber BBQ as the prize, and a live radio remote by WITL FM.

Howell is one of only a handful of cities across America that were selected for this year’s Homegrown Challenge – the contest will also take place in McLean, VA; Arvada, CO; Clifton Park, NY; Lexington, KY, and Warwick, RI. Entry forms are available at participating retail locations. Log onto http://www.naturesweettomatoes.com for more information.

HOW TO ENTER:

Details are available in the produce department of any participating Meijer store. There are no restrictions on the variety or method of growing tomatoes, except that all entries must be homegrown by the entrant (contest is not open to commercial growers). On September 26, contestants must bring three large OR 10 small tomatoes of the same variety to the Meijer Flagship store at 3883 E. Grand River between 9 and 11 a.m. for judging. ONE ENTRY PER HOUSEHOLD.

HOW TO WIN:

Tomatoes will be judged in two separate categories: small tomato variety and large tomato variety. There will be one $2500 winner for each category. The large or small classification of the tomato will be based on variety and/or weight. Tomatoes in both categories will be judged based on Brix/Sweetness and Taste. A Brix test determines sweetness — the higher the Brix number, the better the flavor. The finalists will then be taste-tested by a panel of local celebrity judges and two Grand Prize Winners and four runners-up will be announced at noon. The two $2500 first prize and four $250 gift cards for runners up will then be awarded.

CELEBRITY JUDGES PANEL:

2009 Celebrity judges will include:

• Candy Spiegel, Livingston County Daily Press and Argus

• Jordan Lee, WITL-FM

• Kevin VonOtten, Meijer

• Meijer Chef

CHEF COOKS UP TASTY TOMATO TREATS:

A professional chef from Meijer will demonstrate savory tomato dishes featuring NatureSweet vine ripened cherry tomatoes. In addition to food sampling and learning new recipes, attendees can learn how to best select, store, prepare and serve their tomatoes. The first 100 entrants will get a special gift from NatureSweet. Tomato entries will be donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank after the event.

Picked at perfection, NatureSweet tomatoes ripen on the vine to maintain their freshness, straight from the farm to your table. We guarantee that we will deliver the best tasting tomatoes, consistently year round. NatureSweet. Vine nurtured and hand picked for homegrown taste.

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