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.
On May 1, the Cedaredge board of trustees met for a special meeting to appropriate an additional $35,000 from reserves as a loan to the golf course fund.
These funds will be used to purchased a used turf utility vehicle, a spray rig, and to make improvements to the kitchen and dining area of the restaurant.