The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, will bring passions alive over the Valentine’s weekend as they pay homage to the ‘love apple’ with the return of the award winning Tomato Festival Sydney on 14 and 15 February 2015.
“We’re offering a totally tomato experience including prizes for best home grown,” said Dr Brett Summerell, Deputy Executive Director, Science and Conservation at the Garden.
“Leading up to the Festival, we’re also trying to lure out the best tomato cooks in our suburbs by offering prizes for the best home-made Tomato Passata Sauce and the Tomato Relish/Chutney Challenges.
“Get cooking now because entries for the cooking competitions close on Friday 30 January. While the ‘Best in Show’ entries close on Thursday 12 February.”
For more information about prizes and competitions visit: www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au Tomato Festival, Sydney.
Dr Summerell said the humble tomato is very special and deserves to have its own Festival.
“Fewer than 20 species of plants provide 90% of the world’s food–many of these species are from the same family as the tomato–the Solonaceae,” he said.
“At the Tomato Festival, come and put your tastebuds to the test, try more than 20 varieties of tomatoes and tell us which tomato you prefer–the winning tomato will blush with pride!
“Last year the Heirloom varieties were the clear winners. The people’s choices were the Wapsipinicon Peach and the Green Grape.
“Heirlooms develop naturally with pollination occurring through wind, insects and birds. Heirloom varieties tend to have superior flavour and are easy to grow, which is great for the home gardener.
“Hybrids are the type of tomato seeds and plants you’d buy from commercial suppliers–they produce big yields and are easier to transport but often have less flavour,” Dr Summerell said.
The Tomato Festival is great for people of all ages and is family friendly. There will be a pop-up bar & café, local and organic produce stalls, degustation luncheon, free workshops, a cooking Master Class with Pietro Demaio of ‘Preserving the Italian Way’ fame, talk on heirlooms by Clive Blazey, Founder and Chairman of the Diggers Club, free guided tours and many more talks.
“Kids will love the ‘Pizza Plants’ activity when they take their tastebuds on a delicious adventure to find pizza ingredients growing in the garden. Plant some yummy herbs and then use them to make their own munchaliscious mini-pizza!” Dr Summerell said.
“Talks include tips for planting your favourite heirloom varieties, a practical guide to growing other Solonaceae plants, info on bees and a honey tasting, plus Steve Hogwood, 1910 Lifestyle, will talk about natural fermentation and pickling,” he said.
Posted 14 January 2015