Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cash for 'Maters! Colorado Homegrown Contest.


More than $6,000 in Prizes to be Awarded in Arvada for the Best Tomatoes

NatureSweet® Tomatoes are vine-nurtured and hand-picked for homegrown taste. How do yours measure up? The Seventh Annual NatureSweet Best Homegrown Tomato Challenge is coming back to Colorado this year to find out! The event will be held at the King Soopers® store at 15200 W. 64th Avenue in Arvada on Saturday, August 22. Gardeners are invited to bring in their best tomatoes in both the small and large tomato categories for a chance to be one of two $2500 winners! Two runners-up in each category will each receive King Soopers gift cards valued at $250.

Other activities at the event include cooking and sampling of tomato recipes, a Master Gardener Q and A Booth, NatureSweet Prize Wheel, Gardening Trivia with a Weber BBQ as the prize, and John Cretti, Co-Host of “Gardening With An Altitude” will Emcee while broadcasting his show LIVE from the event..

Arvada is one of only a handful of cities across America that were selected for this year’s Homegrown Challenge – the contest will also take place in McLean, VA; Clifton Park, NY; Lexington, KY; Warwick, RI, and Howell, MI. Entry forms are available at participating retail locations. Log onto for more information.


Details are available at any participating King Soopers store in the area. There are no restrictions on the variety or method of growing tomatoes, except that all entries must be homegrown by the entrant (contest is not open to commercial growers). On August 22, contestants must bring three large OR 10 small tomatoes of the same variety to the King Soopers store at 15200 W. 64th Avenue between 9 and 11 a.m. for judging. ONE ENTRY PER HOUSEHOLD.


Tomatoes will be judged in two separate categories: small tomato variety and large tomato variety. There will be one $2500 winner for each category. The large or small classification of the tomato will be based on variety and/or weight. Tomatoes in both categories will be judged based on Brix/Sweetness and Taste. A Brix test determines sweetness -- the higher the Brix number, the better the flavor. The finalists will then be taste-tested by a panel of local celebrity judges and two Grand Prize Winners and four runners-up will be announced at noon. The two $2500 first prize and four $250 gift cards for runners up will then be awarded.


2009 Celebrity judges will include:

• Carol O’Meara, Boulder County Master Gardeners

• Lin Zimmer, Jefferson County Extension Master Gardeners

• Harriett McMillan, Echter’s Garden Center

• Beki Pineda, Denver Botanic Gardens

• Ann Moline, Mile High Newspapers

• Susan Clotfelter, Denver Post and “Digging In” Blog


A professional Chef will demonstrate savory tomato dishes featuring NatureSweet vine ripened cherry tomatoes. In addition to food sampling and learning new recipes, attendees can learn how to best select, store, prepare and serve their tomatoes. The first 100 entrants will get a special gift from NatureSweet. Tomato entries will be donated to The Food Bank of the Rockies after the event.

Picked at perfection, NatureSweet tomatoes ripen on the vine to maintain their freshness, straight from the farm to your table. We guarantee that we will deliver the best tasting tomatoes, consistently year round. NatureSweet. Vine nurtured and hand picked for homegrown taste.

Desert Glory, LTD, based in San Antonio, Texas is the leading grower of premium tomatoes in North America under the NatureSweet brand. Distributed throughout the U.S, at major grocers, club stores and foodservice operators, NatureSweet tomatoes deliver the best tasting tomatoes with year-round availability. As the number one brand of vine-ripened cherry tomatoes in the U.S., NatureSweet’s growing operations comprise over 1,000 acres under greenhouse and proudly employs nearly 5000 associates.

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