A fruitful Feastival: Celebrating tomatoes, farmers and community

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Who had the cutest tomato? The most important or ugliest? Try the 2021 contest winners.

Farm-fresh meals. Reside music. A compelling trigger. And tomatoes, a number of tomatoes, in assorted shapes, sizes and colours. All these components mixed for a fruitful 2021 Tomato Feastival on June 6 on the Goodwood Museum & Gardens to learn the Pink Hills Small Farm Alliance.

“It was simply an incredible turnout,” mentioned Kate Wasson, a board member of the Pink Hills Small Farm Alliance and Feastival planner. “We had been hoping for 500 individuals and after I noticed the road wrapped round for blocks I couldn’t wrap my head round it.”

Flowers on the market on the Apalachee Farm stand, additionally the scene for the juicy tomatoes within the prime image.

Early estimates challenge there have been at the very least 1,100 attendees and probably as excessive as 1,400, on the occasion, a longtime custom of the Alliance, a nonprofit supporting our native farming community.

It was a day to have fun tomatoes and native produce and the straightforward pleasure of being at an out of doors gathering with household, pals and farmers, mentioned Cari Roth, president of the Pink Hills Small Farm Alliance.

Chef Jessica Vivid McMullen, proprietor of KitchenAble Cooking Faculty and Catering, and her daughter serving tomato pies and cupcakes on the Feastival.

Annie Giddens, Jan Graham and Teresa Morris had been amongst these having fun with the day, sitting below a tent, savoring their slices of scrumptious tomato pies made by chef Jessica Vivid McMullen, proprietor of KitchenAble Cooking Faculty and Catering.

The occasion was fairly nice, they agreed. “To me, it’s like returning to life,” mentioned Teresa. “Thank God for the vaccine.”

Ice cream and cookie sammies, from Brad, Meg and Emma Austin of Southern Craft Creamery, had been successful on the Tomato Feastival.

My husband and I strolled below the shade of stately oaks, devouring these yummy tomato pies made by Jessica, delicious chocolate cupcakes baked by her daughter Madeline; a conventional tomato sandwich made with mayo, slices of cucumber and white bread; sausage canine from Glendower Farms; ice cream sammies from Southern Craft Creamery and a beer from Lake Tribe.

Native Lake Tribe Brewing Firm poured on the Feastival with a later help from Ology Brewing Firm.

Distributors had been both promoting out or replenishing their merchandise. Lake Tribe Brewing Firm restocked however nonetheless ended up operating out of beer, mentioned Kate. “Ology sweeped in with 15 instances and received extra. Our beer distributors saved the day.” Proof, Ology and Deep brewing firms additionally contributed merchandise for the Feastival raffles. Among the many occasions was the normal tomato contest.

An array of tomatoes of assorted varieties and sizes competed for honors on the Feastival.

Winners had been: *General Finest Tasting (together with all varieties):

*Matt’s Wild Cherry by Chris Ewald, Hillside City Farm.

*Finest common tomato Huge: Black Krim by Justin Picillo, Farm 396

*Finest cherry tomato: Tie between Matt’s Wild Cherry from Hillside City Farm and Everglades by Amber Austin.

*Greatest tomato: Pink Inexperienced (23 ounces) from Turkey Hill Farm.

*Ugliest tomato: Gold medal, Turkey Hill Farm.

* Cutest tomato: Rubber Ducky, R&R Hidden Farms

Tomato judging is tasty — and intense — on the Feastival.

Tom Zingale, organizer of the tasting contest with assist from Debbie Head, mentioned there have been 50 completely different entries this yr — 30 large tomatoes and 20 little ones. A number of judges choose the winners in a double-blind system.

“There have been a whole lot of new faces, which was superior,” mentioned Tom, recalling the homespun nature of the occasion’s early years.

The Feastival started in 2006 as a small “farmer to farmer” gathering at Turkey Hill Farm, mentioned Louise Devine, proprietor and operator of the farm with husband Herman Holley.

A former celebration of the Tomato Feastival in 2015 when it was situated at Turkey Hill Farm. Picture: Tallahassee Democrat

“There wouldn’t be a tomato feastival with out Louise and Herman,” mentioned Tom, a tomato grower and proprietor of Tallahassee Flooring Ending. “It began as an old-school pot luck the place everybody would sit below the bushes and discuss and share info.”

Louise Divine and Herman Holley, homeowners of Turkey Hill Farm, pose for a enjoyable photograph throughout one of many Tomato Feastivals at their farm.

To honor Louise and Herman, Tom introduced them with an award on the Feastival in recognition of all their years of internet hosting the occasion till it moved to Goodwood in 2019.

The award says “As a lifetime achievement award to Herman and Louise for the Tomato Feastival since 2006.”

“It’s a really stunning award,” mentioned Louise.

“Even with extra individuals, the community sharing side of it was nonetheless there,” mentioned Louise, reflecting on the scale of the gang at Goodwood this yr.

Most of all, the occasion was an opportunity for individuals to satisfy farmers and pattern domestically grown meals, mentioned Jennifer Krell Davis, a member of the Pink Hills Small Alliance Board.

Aaron Properly and Derek Phillips of Good-looking Harvest Farm introduced a number of tomatoes and produce to the Feastival.

We received an opportunity to cease by stands from Aaron Properly and Derek Phillips of Good-looking Harvest Farm, David and Sally Gist of Inexperienced Gate Olive Grove, Brad, Meg and Emma Austin of Southern Craft Creamery, brothers Daniel and Jordan Miranda of Legacy Greens, Drew Schmoe, proprietor of Schmoe Farm and Kiona and Chris Wagner of Rocky Soil Household Farm with their lovely twin women.

Daniel and Jordan Miranda, homeowners of Legacy Greens farm.

Different taking part farmers included: Apalachee Farms, Bumpy Street Farm Tally, Collective Roots Farm, Debbie’s Grand’ola, Increasing Circles, Hillside City Farm, Indigo Greens, Ok&R Hidden Farms, Love’s Labor Farm, Lovett Farms, Fortunate Canine Farm, Martin’s Harvest, Orchard Pond Organics, Stalwart Heritage Inventory, Candy River Farms, Tally Kombucha, The Rural Backyard and Turkey Hill Farm Tallahassee.Meals Distributors included: KitchenAble Cooking Faculty and Catering, Southern Craft Creamery, Glendower Farms, Lake Tribe Brewing Firm, Proof Brewing Firm, DEEP Brewing Firm and Ology Brewing Firm.

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