Special to the Regional Review
Massachusetts agricultural officials joined tomato farmers from across the state on the plaza of the Boston Public Market for the Commonwealth’s 37th Tomato Contest. Designed to increase awareness of locally grown produce, this year’s contest drew 95 entries from 18 farms across the state. The contest is sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association, and Mass Farmers’ Markets, and was hosted by the Boston Public Market Association. After the entries were judged by a panel of food writers, chefs, produce experts, and state officials on flavor, firmness/slicing quality, exterior color and shape, MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux announced that the top prizes went to farmers from Concord, Montague, and Sharon.
“It has been my distinct pleasure to host this annual contest to bring attention to one of the most beautiful and varied crops here in Massachusetts,” said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux. “The quality and variety of the tomatoes on display here today speaks to the skill and ingenuity our hardworking farmers possess in growing these summertime favorites. As always, we thank our partners, the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association, and Mass Farmers Markets for their help in putting this event on and the Boston Public Market for hosting.”
“At the Boston Public Market, we countdown to tomato season all summer long and we’re thrilled to work with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to host the Tomato Contest once again,” said Cheryl Cronin, CEO of the Boston Public Market. “We’re honored to host our region’s local farmers in this competition as they showcase the fruits and flavors of their labor.”
Of the 7,241 farms in Massachusetts, 517 farms annually produce more than 6.7 million pounds of tomatoes on 569 acres with a value of approximately $14 million. An additional 16.8 acres of tomatoes are grown in greenhouses with an approximate value of $4.1 million. Consumers can find farmers’ markets, farm stands and other opportunities to buy local produce here.
2022 Massachusetts Tomato Contest Winners
1. 1st Place – Verrill Farm, Town of Concord, with a Big Beef Tomato
2. 2nd Place – Langwater Farm, Town of North Easton, with a BHN 589 Tomato
3. 3rd Place – Ward’s Berry Farm, Town of Sharon, with a BHN 589 Tomato
4. 1st Place – Red Fire Farm, Town of Montague, with a Starlor Tomato
5. 2nd Place – Siena Farms, Town of Sudbury, with a Sungold Tomato
6. 3rd Place – Red Fire Farm, Town of Montague, with a Sun Peach Tomato
7. 1st Place – Falls Farm, Town of Montague with, a Cherokee Purple Tomato
8. 2nd Place – Russell Orchards, Town of Ipswich, with a Black Prince Tomato
9. 3rd Place – Verrill Farm, Town of Concord, with a Rose Tomato
10. 1st Place – Ward’s Berry Farm, Town of Sharon, with a Black Krim Tomato weighing 3.83 lbs.
11. 2nd Place – Verrill Farm, Town of Concord, with a Buffalo Sun Tomato weighing 2.49 lbs.
12. 3rd Place – Langwater Farm, Town of North Easton, with a Striped German Tomato – 2.23 lbs.