Littlest fruit steals show at Tomato Fest

By Tamie Meck

Littlest fruit steals show at Tomato Fest | Hotchkiss, Tomato Fest

Photo by Tamie Meck Local celebrity judges Katherine Colwell, Matt Kottenstette and Don Foster cast their votes Saturday during the Delta County Libraries 2015 Tomato Fest at The Creamery in Hotchkiss. This was the second year for the event, which was als

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.