The Best Tomato Contest was held during Farmers Day in China Grove on July 21, at the China Grove Farmers Market.
Participants each entered five tomatoes for the contest. Judges were: Don Bringle, mayor of China Grove; Gary Ritchie, owner of Gary’s Bar-B-Que; and Chase Reynolds, owner of Two Pigs Farms. The judges carefully examined the tomatoes and scored each entry based on appearance, taste, no core and inside meatiness.
Winner in the Youth Division was Morgan Miller, an avid young gardener. Morgan’s tomatoes were the Mountain Fresh variety. The winner in the Adult Division was Scott Corriher, who grows a large garden each year. His tomato entry was the Brandywine variety.
Other tomato entry varieties included Big Boys, Better Boys, Big Beef, Super Steaks, Goliath, Celebrities, Pink Girl and Cherokee Purple. There were 22 tomato entries in the contest. The judges declared the Goliath variety tomato entry from Ally Cress as the best tasting tomato of all the entries.
The winners in each division received a $100 prize from the sponsor of the contest, L.L. Goodnight and Sons Inc. located on Saw Road in Southern Rowan County. Henry Goodnight was on hand to congratulate the winners.
Alan Goodman, manager of the Farmers Market in China Grove organized and conducted the contest and announced the winners.
Another hit of the day was the Watermelon Seed Spitting Challenge. Alan Goodman gave away cold watermelon and then encouraged the children and adults to try to spit the seeds to the far end of the contest grid.
The Biggest Watermelon contest is now under way at the Farmers Market. Individuals may bring their watermelon entries to the Market on Fridays, 4-7 p.m. The melons will be weighed and the size recorded. Individuals may enter more than one watermelon until the contest ends Sept. 7.
Watermelons must be grown in Rowan County. The winner in the Adult and Youth Divisions will each receive $100 from the sponsor of the contest, Goodman Farm Supply, 338 N. Main St., China Grove.
The China Grove Market at the Mill is sponsored by the Historical Society of South Rowan and is located on the grounds of the historic China Grove Roller Mill at 308 N Main St. The market is open on Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m. A variety of fruits, vegetables, plants, baked goods, honey, eggs and meat is available from Rowan County producers. For more information, please contact Alan Goodman, 704-857-5938.