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Fifth Tomadah Paradah to Feature Nearly 200 Varieties of Tomatoes

Event Set for Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Academic Farm

August 12, 2014

Agriculture professor Monte Anderson speaks with WC junior Amber Thompson about the role of weather in growing tomatoes. He believes the cool summer is resulting in some varieties of tomatoes lacking their normally sweet taste, while other varieties have realized a positive affect.

Agriculture professor Monte Anderson speaks with WC junior Amber Thompson about the role of weather in growing tomatoes. He believes the cool summer is resulting in some varieties of tomatoes lacking their normally sweet taste, while other varieties have realized a positive affect.

While a cool summer has affected the growing season of some types of tomatoes, visitors can expect to see — and have an opportunity to taste — more than 175 varieties at Saturday’s (Aug. 16) fifth annual Tomadah Paradah.

The event, which is free of charge, is co-sponsored by Wilmington College and Swindler & Sons Florists. The “Parade of Tomatoes” will run from 5 to 7 p.m. at WC’s Academic Farm, 1594 Fife Ave.

The College’s Agriculture Department is growing some 250 varieties of tomatoes and about 90 types of peppers, the latter of which will be featured for the first time.

Monte Anderson, professor of agriculture, and other agriculture staff and students will be on hand to discuss details on the tomato and pepper crops, in addition to showing visitors the strawberry patches in the greenhouse and their innovative irrigation system. Indeed Monday evening’s rain netted a collection of 3,000 gallons of water from the barn roof, which will be used to irrigate the crops.

Also, several competitions will be featured at the Tomadah Paradah.

Swindler & Sons Florists is sponsoring a $100 prize for best tasting ripe tomato, $100 for heaviest ripe tomato (last year’s winner weighed nearly 3.6 pounds) and the winner of the best tasting cherry tomato will receive a quit made by Pat Swindler.

Swindler & Sons, 321 W. Locust St., will be weighing the entries for largest tomato at their Garden Center through noon Aug. 16. Those interested in the best tasting contests can bring their entries to Swindlers Aug. 14 or 15, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., for judging. They should deliver several full-size tomatoes and at least 10 cherries so there’s enough for judging.