The Franklin Farmers Market held its 7th annual Tomato Festival on Saturday, July 15, hosted by market sponsor, Amerigo Italian Restaurant. Amerigo Chef Steven Robilio delighted us with his delicious caprese salad and free samples made with ingredients from our farmers. Amerigo is a seven year sponsor and hosts the popular Farm Dinner Series each month at their Brentwood and Nashville restaurants with next dates July 24th & 25th in Brentwood.
Rain didn’t keep market customers away and children had fun with games and free face painting. But our local farmers weren’t interested in face painting; they were ready to compete in what has become the bragging right for the year- the best tasting tomato!
Market customers cast ballots and chose the best tasting tomato in a blind taste test and were invited to check out the Franklin Farmers Market website “news” page after the event to see if their favorite tomato won and what farmer grew it. With over fourteen farms at the market with homegrown tomatoes, from heirloom to standard, slicing and cherry tomatoes, it was hard for customers to choose just one!
The contest was divided into two categories: Heirloom Tomatoes and Standard Tomatoes. The term heirloom is given to the variety of tomato seed that is fifty or more years old. Some heirloom varieties are as much as $1 per seed! The term standard is given to hybrid varieties of tomatoes, grown for their commercially attractive characteristics.
“Every year our Tomato Festival grows bigger and we are blown away by the number of tomato entries grown by our local farmers. 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.
After hundreds of ballots were cast by our market customers, the decision was made and our winners are:
Best Tasting Heirloom Tomato:
1st Place- Colbert Farm (#27 in the blind taste test)
2nd Place- Beaverdam Creek Farm (#25 in the blind taste test)
3rd Place-Jones Mill Farm (#30 in the blind taste test)
Best Tasting Standard Tomato:
1st Place- Norton Family Farm (#79 in the blind taste test)
2nd Place- Delvin Farms (#76 in the blind taste test)
3rd Place- Bloomsbury Farm (#75 in the blind taste test)
The decision was announced with much enthusiasm as market staff presented each winning farm with a ribbon and certificate. Another year of bragging rights for our farmers is in the books.
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. Visit this link to view more photos of this years Franklin Tomato Festival!
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.