State Agricultural Officials Announce Winners of 2017 Massachusetts Tomato Contest

33rd annual tomato competition draws 59 entries

BOSTON  Massachusetts agricultural officials joined tomato farmers from across the state today at the KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market for the Commonwealth’s 33rd Annual Tomato Contest. Designed to increase awareness of locally grown produce, this year’s contest drew 59 entries from 12 farms.

“The annual Tomato Contest is a fun tradition that highlights the diversity and quality of Massachusetts agriculture,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “As we approach peak growing season, I encourage all residents to try a new variety of tomato from their local farm or farmers’ market to support their local farmers.”

After the entries were judged by a panel of food writers, chefs, produce experts and state officials on flavor, firmness/slicing quality, exterior color and shape,  Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux announced that the top prizes went to farmers from North Easton, Sharon and Pepperell.

“The Tomato Contest provides growers across the Commonwealth the opportunity to showcase the delicious tomato varieties from Sungold to Black Prince, grown right here in our state,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “I am pleased to see the excitement surrounding this event for Massachusetts farmers and locally produced foods. I thank the Boston Public Market, the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and Mass Farmers' Markets for their continued support of this event that highlights Massachusetts farmers.”

In addition to the presentation of awards, today’s Tomato Contest included a healthy cooking demonstration by UMass Extension, tomato tasting and information on nutrition and local farms. The contest is sponsored by DAR, the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and Mass Farmers’ Markets and was hosted by the Boston Public Market Association and Trustees of Reservations.

“The Boston Public Market and its KITCHEN has provided Boston’s communities with access to local and nutritious produce and groceries,” said State Senator Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop).  “The tomato contest is a great opportunity to showcase the hard work of our local farmers and the Kitchen’s work.”

“This will be the third year in a row that the Boston Public Market has had the honor of hosting the Tomato Contest,” said Cheryl Cronin, CEO of the Boston Public Market. “The Market was built to support local agriculture and to educate the public about food sources and nutrition. The Annual Tomato Contest creates an opportunity for growers from across the Commonwealth to showcase the fruits of their labor and for the public to get closer to the farmers who grow their food. Judging by the incredible tomatoes we've been seeing from our Boston Public Market farmers this summer, it's going to be a tough competition!”

“We wait all year for tomato season and we are thrilled to host MDAR’s Annual Tomato Contest in The KITCHEN. As a founding partner of the Boston Public Market and stewards of over 2000 acres of community farms and gardens across the State, The Trustees is committed to educating residents and visitors about the benefits of eating seasonally and supporting local agriculture,” said Lieza Dagher, Trustees’ Program Director of The KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market. “We are delighted to partner again this year with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to showcase the variety of flavor, color, shape and size of tomatoes grown in the Commonwealth.”

Of the more than 7,700 farms in Massachusetts, 759 annually produce more than 7.6 million pounds of tomatoes on 685 acres with a value of approximately $14.5 million. Consumers can find farmers’ markets, farm stands and other opportunities to buy local here.

 

2017 Massachusetts Tomato Contest Winners

Slicing Category

Place

Farm Name

Town

Variety

1

Langwater Farm

North Easton

BHN589

2

MacArthur Farm

Holliston

Tomimaru muchoo

3

Three Acre Farm

Berlin

Valley Girl

4

Langwater Farm

North Easton

BHN1021

5

C&C Reading Farm

Bryantville

BNH589

6

MacArthur Farm

Holliston

BHN589

7

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Dixie Red

8

E. Cecchi Farms

Feeding Hills

Biltmore

9

Siena Farms

Sudbury

Beefsteak

10

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

BHN589

 

Cherry Category

Place

Farm Name

Town

Variety

1

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Braveheart

2

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Sungold

3

Langwater Farm

North Easton

Sungold

4

C&C Reading Farm

Bryantville

Sun Sugar

5

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Sugary

6

Three Acre Farm

Berlin

Sungold

7

Sienna Farms

Sudbury

Sungold

8

C&C Reading Farm

Bryantville

Heart Throb

9

Still Life Farm

Hardwick

Striped Tiger

10

MacArthur Farm

Holliston

Sungold

 

Heirloom Category

Place

Farm Name

Town

Variety

1

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Carbon

2

Sienna Farms

Sudbury

Brandywine

3

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Cherokee Chocolate

4

E. Cecchi Farms

Feeding Hills

Amana

5

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Royal Hillbilly

6

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Orange Russian 117

7

Langwater Farm

North Easton

Cherokee Green

8

Langwater Farm

North Easton

Cherokee Purple

9

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Cherokee Carbon

10

MacArthur Farm

Holliston

Yellow Brandywine

 

Heaviest Category

Place

Farm Name

Town

Variety

Weight

1

Ward's Berry Farm

Sharon

Heirloom Yellow

2.315

2

Langwater Farm

North Easton

Striped German

2.263

3

Kimball Fruit Farm

Pepperell

Pineapple

2.238

4

Sienna Farms

Sudbury

Striped German

2.235

5

Harpers Farm and Garden

Lancaster

Striped German

1.920

6

Hanson's Farm

Framingham

Striped German

1.739

7

E. Cecchi Farms

Feeding Hills

Brandywine

1.710