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Scores of Tomato Lovers Descend Upon WC's Tomato Paradise

Competition Determines Little Luckey and Sweet Orange as This Summer's Best Tasting

August 18, 2014

Brother and sister Gary and Gail Kepler of Kettering peruse the Parade of Tomatoes to determine favorites from the summer bounty.

Brother and sister Gary and Gail Kepler of Kettering peruse the Parade of Tomatoes to determine favorites from the summer bounty.

A little rain didn’t dampen the spirits of tomato aficionados or even casual fans of summer’s favorite fruit as several hundred attended the fifth annual Tomadah Paradah Saturday (Aug. 16) at Wilmington College’s Academic Farm.

“It’s great to see the community and people from surrounding communities come out,” said Phil Swindler.

Swindler & Sons Florists and the College are partners in this annual event celebrating the tomato — well, in this case, more than 200 varieties of the fruit.

“I am stupidly passionate about tomatoes,” Swindler added, “and it’s been a lot of fun for us to see this event grow over the last five years.”

Who wouldn’t be “stupidly passionate” about something with names like: Pink Girl, Black Krim, Tiffany, Fourth of July, Great White, Cherokee Purple and Mr. Stripy, Hillbilly, Sun Start, Applause, Box Car Willie, Super Sioux, Caspian Pink and Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter?

Visitors had an opportunity to view, feel and taste some 200 varieties of tomatoes and, for a voluntary donation, they could peruse the groves and fill a bag with favorites to take home.

Also, Swindler’s sponsored a competition for home-growers of tomatoes.

Karen Croghan’s 2.7-pound German Strawberry variety weighed in as this year’s heaviest. She took home a $100 prize, as did George Wilson, whose Little Lucky variety was judged best tasting. Adam Popson’s Mr. Greeney placed second. In the cherry tomato division, Nancy Pickard won a quilt made by Pat Swindler for her best tasting Sweet Orange while Teri Fisher’s Sun Sugar placed second.