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Tomato Festival 2013

Home > Adelaide > Family | Festivals | Food and Wine | Free | Kids
by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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I see red
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A Black Russian Tomato Ripening

Judging by the popularity of food related articles on Weekend Notes, many of our readers are very enthusiastic about the quality and taste of the comestibles they devour.

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.

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Broad Yellow Ripple Currant Tomatoes

Tomato Festival 2013 is a joint event between the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide, The Digger's Club and the Botanic Gardens Restaurant.

Additional information about the Festival activities can be found here. And if you're not worn out, pop in to the Bicentennial Conservatory now that it's free and take a look around.

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.

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Red Cherry Tomato

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Why? Tomatoes should be tasty
When: !0 am to 4pm
Phone: (08) 8222 9345
Where: Botanic Gardens, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Never imagined tomatoes could the star attraction at an event :)

Highly doubt any skills I might gain from attending would cure my tomato growing pains lol
by Yin-Yin Ow (score: 3|1596) 2497 days ago
Yay! What about 'cheery tomatoes'?

All tomatoes are 'cheery'. Sounds like fun. Once tried a tomato, passionfruit and chilli jam to die for, at some fete somewhere.

Love my tomatoes. In some places in SE Asia they even drink tomato juice - sweet, as it is actually fruit, having the seeds.

I didn't have any luck with my 'cheery' tomato growing, so I've given up.

Nothing like a good homegrown though.
by curiouser&curiouser (score: 2|526) 2498 days ago
I must say, this is the first I've heard of this. I might take my tomato-obsessed partner. Great article Dave!
by Dee Mbugua (score: 1|38) 2498 days ago
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!
by chris (score: 1|21) 2468 days ago
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.
by samir (score: 2|126) 2463 days ago
Looking forward to attending, experiencing and to review too! :)
LIKED your write up too! :)
by micke (score: 1|73) 2460 days ago
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