Toss a Tomato Tasting Party

comments (9) August 20th, 2014

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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A tomato tasting party is an enjoyable end-of-season celebration and a delicious way to sample new tomato varieties, too.Click To Enlarge

A tomato tasting party is an enjoyable end-of-season celebration and a delicious way to sample new tomato varieties, too.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

If one of the NatureSweet Homegrown Tomato contests isn't planned for your neck of the woods, you can start your own. A tomato tasting party is a simple way to get together with other gardeners for some end-of-summer fun.

The party can be as laid back or elaborate as you'd like, but here are the basic steps for tossing a memorable one:

  • Plan the date when you know there will be an abundance of ripe tomatoes in gardens. In my region, mid-September would be a perfect time.
  • Invite gardeners, whether they have a big crop of tomatoes or not. In addition to having some fun, the party is a good educational and networking opportunity, too. 
  • Ask gardeners to bring enough tomatoes for cutting and serving. It helps to know the tomato variety and whether the tomato is an heirloom or hybrid.
  • Gather the basic party supplies: paper plates, toothpicks, napkins, markers, pencils, paper. Be sure there's enough table space, table covers and seating.
  • Plan for refreshments, like drinks and appetizers, snack-type picnic foods or ask guests to bring a dish to share,
  • As guests arrive, have them mark on a paper plate their tomato variety and if it's an heirloom. With this information, gardeners can save the seeds of the heirlooms they'd like to grow in their own gardens. (An easy way to save seeds is to fold them in a paper napkin and let them dry. Save in an envelope marked with the variety name. Next season, simply cut the seeds out of the napkin and plant. The paper will decompose.)
  • Recruit a helper or two to cut the tomatoes into sample-size pieces and place back on the plates.
  • Set the plates, napkins, toothpicks, paper, pencils, and waste baskets near the tasting table. Then let the tasting begin.
  • Gardeners can write down the names of their favorite varieties to keep and refer to later.
  • You could also have slips of paper for people to vote for their favorites. Near the end of the party, tally the votes and offer inexpensive prizes for the sweetest, tastiest, best plum tomato, best beefsteak or other categories.

What else do you think would make for a great tomato tasting party in your garden?


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Comments (9)

JamelFlower writes: Very inspiring
Posted: 5:07 am on January 15th
Maxbannett writes: Thats Cool... Nice Job
Posted: 4:56 am on October 30th
Oscarwilson writes: Its fanastic and look very beautiful.
Posted: 4:09 am on October 30th
Archiefox writes: hmm looks very fresh... Great Idea. Thanks for sharing it
Posted: 2:52 am on October 30th
Marquss writes: Great Work of Perfection... Just Beautiful
Posted: 2:12 am on October 30th
Thomaswain writes: Incredible Idea....
Posted: 8:05 am on October 29th
Dominichemmer writes: Great Idea....
Posted: 7:12 am on October 29th
Sandraclif writes: Great...
Posted: 6:54 am on October 29th
Jonathanray writes: Yummy....
Posted: 5:31 am on October 29th
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