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Speaking for myself, I used to look forward to summer as a time to hit the beach. But nowadays you are more likely to find me in my tomato patch, tending the plants or reaping the juicy fruits. Gardens in Adelaide are increasingly being used for growing vegetables, especially tomatoes.
While supermarket tomatoes look oh so red and firm, and are all the right size and shape, I find that they lack any "personality" in their taste.
By contrast, home grown tomatoes may vary in shape and colour, but they are all guaranteed to be full of flavour - especially if grown from heirloom varieties.
If you're passionate about your tomatoes like me, then the Botanic Gardens' Tomato Festival will be just the thing for you. One of the more unusual festivals in Australia, this is the second year that it has been held in Adelaide.
The weekend activities will include the Tomato Sauce Challenge the Best in Show heirloom tomato competition gardening workshops
- the Great Tomato Debate featuring Maggie Beer, Jon Lamb and Clive Blazey
- cooking demonstrations by Pietro De Maio and Stuart Oldfield
- fun activities for kids
- tomato-themed food carts
- a tomato taste test
- an art show
- special guided walks by the Friends of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide
- a tomato themed lunch in the award-winning Botanic Garden Restaurant featuring Simon Bryant.
There should be something in that list to appeal to almost anyone that eats tomatoes.
For those interested in buying heirloom tomato seeds, I should mention that it is a bonus having a Diggers in Adelaide now, as their sales by post from Victoria were incredibly slow last time I tried. Their response to complaint emails was even slower.
An alternative source for heirloom seedlings is from Bickleigh Vale Farm at the Adelaide Showgrounds Farmer's Market.
Or if you want to grow tomatoes from tomatoes, you can save your own seeds if you have a particularly tasty heirloom tomato that have been given. Let them dry out on a sheet of absorbent paper, then plant them next spring.
I'm also tomato obsessed, used to always make bottles of pasta sauce annually, wouldn't mind getting back into that .
Best Tomatoes from a small stall (can't remember the no of stall), but opposite the fresh coffe stall (near Lucia's) at the Central Market, never fail and cheapest per kilo around, all from Murray river land. Tasty!
We love tomatoes but will there be something or someone there at the Tomato festival that will get my 13yr old son to start eating tomatoes?
The only tomato he will eat is if I'm making a pasta sauce or a spicy salsa.