The Franklin Farmers Market held its 6th annual Tomato Festival on Saturday, July 16, hosted by market sponsor, Amerigo Italian Restaurant. Rain didn’t keep market customers away and children were treated to Maribelle the Clown with free face painting and balloon animals. But our local farmers weren’t interested in face painting; they were ready to compete in what have become the bragging rights for the year- the best tasting tomato!
Customers were treated to free tomato tastings from our local farmers. Amerigo Chef Steven delighted us with his famous gazpacho and bruschetta with free samples made from ingredients from our farmers.
“Every year our Tomato Festival grows bigger and we are blown away by the number of tomato entries grown by our local farmers. We had over sixteen farms enter their tomatoes, a record year! We are honored to have the largest selection of farmers in middle TN in one location, and proud to be a producers only market. You won’t find a better tasting homegrown tomato than right here in Franklin, grown by the farmers who are here,” says Franklin Farmers Market Event Coordinator, Ryan Palmer.
With over sixteen farms participating in the contest, market supporter Kristy Williams of the Franklin Heritage Foundation was charged with the task of finding just the right person to judge the contest. Eight judges were called upon to judge tomatoes in categories: Ugliest, Heirloom and Standard, and their job was not an easy one! A heartfelt thank you goes to our Tomato Festival judges, Rick Warwick, editor of the Williamson County Historical Society Journal, Representative Charles Sargent, Lynne McAlister, Heritage Ball fundraiser, Theresa Mascola, fitness instructor for Williamson County Parks, Shelley Robertson Birdsong, owner of Robertson Media Group, Matthew Antonovich, owner of Franklin’s Trattoria A, and Ali Gernsert, Marketing Director of market sponsor, Amerigo.
After many tastings and few re tastings, judges came to a decision and our winners are:
Heirloom Tomato: 1st Place- Vu Family Farm
2nd Place- Colbert Farm
3rd Place tie: Sturbridge Farm and Teston Nursery
Standard Tomato: 1st Place- Colbert Farm
2nd Place- Rainbow Hill Farm
3rd Place- Delvin Farms
Ugliest Tomato: 1st Place- Sturbridge Farm
2nd Place- Evans Produce
3rd Place- Beaverdam Creek Farm
The judges’ decision was announced with much enthusiasm as market staff and market sponsor Amerigo’s Ali Gensert presented each winning farm with a ribbon and certificate. Another year of bragging rights go to long time winner, Sturbridge Farm, whose tomatoes win one or more category every year!
Festival attendees enjoyed all that our market has to offer- fresh, locally grown produce, locally made artisan goods and local food trucks for breakfast and lunch. Admission to the festival and the market as always, was free.
The Franklin Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am-1pm behind the Factory in Franklin, TN. The market is a 15 yr old producers only market with the largest assembly of local farmers providing fresh farm food all year long each Saturday morning. Find us at 230 Franklin Road behind the Factory. Visit us online at www.franklinfarmersmarket.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest market news.
Visit this link to view all photos from this years 6th Annual Franklin Tomato Festival.