If there was a Best in Show at this year's Tomato Fest, it would likely have gone to the diminutive Mexican Midget. The marble-sized heirloom variety won in two categories, with grower Randy Slater claiming the "tastiest" category and Matt Kottenstette claiming this year's "smallest" tomato honors.
The four-hour festival, held Saturday at The Creamery pavilion in Hotchkiss, paid homage to the blush-est of fruits (and yes, tomatoes are fruit) and member of the nightshade family, with contests, seed-saving demos, a tomato scavenger hunt, and a tomato haiku contest.
Other winning tomato entries included:
Ugliest tomato - Barb Hunsley
Prettiest - green zebra grown by Kelsey Altman
Best Dressed - Charles Carlson
Biggest - 26.3-ounce striped German grown by Joe Van Horn
The haiku contest drew 86 entries, including nine library staff entries.
Drew Harris won the "under 16" category with the following haiku: The Taste of Summer/The Ruby of the Garden/A Delightful Treat.
Marv Kieca won the "16 and over" category: Daughter of Nightshade/ Ruby temptress of palates/ come and kiss my lips.
The "most humorous" category went to Amelia Hickam with: Tomatoes are gross/Kind of like a cow's weird toes/ Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, ewwww.
Some of the tomatoes were grown from seeds obtained from the local library seed-saving program, which for two years has been maintained by Hotchkiss librarian Sarah Pope.
The festival was held in conjunction with the Hotchkiss Farmer's Market.