There was WAY more to Homestead’s Tomato Festival than I expected

Last year’s was my first Tomato Festival at Homestead, and I knew there would be cook-offs – like the Chesapeake Chili Cook-off, the Salsa Competition and the Ledo Fastest Pizza Eating Contest – all featured events again this year.  (Here are the details).  I’d never seen a cook-off before, actually, but I discovered that day that they’re FUN, serious FUN.

But there was so much more going on – everywhere the celebration of homegrown food, and really useful stuff like demonstrations on all sorts of topics.  Below is Homestead’s food blogger Rita Calvert demonstrating something that I swear was tasty – Rita, was it gazpacho?  This year – this very Saturday at noon – she’ll be sharing her tips and techniques again .

Below, just a few of the many chefs showing off their dishes.

Below, chef James Parker entertained us with his sculptures made of fruits and vegetables.

Below, who should turn up selling beer but Homestead’s education coordinator, Gene Sumi – with a Homesteader I don’t recognize.  (Name coming soon!)  And on the right is Lisa Winters,the manager of our Perennials Department, and did you know  she’s also manager of the kitchen garden at Maryland’s Governor’s House?  Yep; that’s a  project of the Maryland Master Gardeners, and Lisa’s one of their hardest working Master Gardeners in the state – I bet.

I wish I had more photos to help you all get in the mood for our Tomato Festival, one of the most fun summer events in our neck of the woods.  (Oh wait –  I did post a few more photos here last year - check ‘em out).  Hope to see you all here this Saturday!

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