The Totally Terrific Tomato Festival
On Sunday 3rd of September, The Totally Terrific Tomato Festival returns to its home at Killruddery for another fabulous festival celebrating the not-so-humble tomato and its incredible genetic diversity! This is not just a festival for tomato experts, it’s a great opportunity for growers of all levels of experience to gain some valuable knowledge from a range of renowned gardening and growing enthusiasts.
The highlight of the festival will be the impressive Genetic Diversity Display Table, co-ordinated by Jane Powers, garden writer and tomato lover. There are over 4,000 known varieties of tomato and last year we managed to round up 138 of them, heirlooms, old favourites and F1 hybrids alike! If you’d like to contribute your own tomatoes to this year’s display, contact Jane to tell her what varieties you are growing to have a place of honour reserved for your tomatoes. A tasting table will also be available if you’re curious to sample some of the many specimens. Register your interest to participate by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Library to hear talks from guest speakers on the history of the tomato and its incredible genetic diversity, presented by Dr Matthew Jebb. Festival founder Nicky Kyle will be speaking on getting the most from growing and cooking your own tomatoes, and our special guest Medwyn Williams will give a talk on his journey from growing vegetables with his father to winning multiple awards at the Chelsea Flower Show and beyond. Several informal talks will also be taking place in the Farm Market during the day. More about the talks here…
We’ll have contests for tomatoes of all categories and classes, as well as for tomato-based recipes, judged by our special guest, award-winning vegetable grower Medwyn Williams. There are prizes to be won for every contest – and we have a few unusual categories thrown in there too! For more on the competition classes please click here…
The staff at Killruddery will also be getting involved, with our own Frank Jesper giving tours of the Walled Garden throughout the day and discussing his tomato-growing year so far on Killruddery. We will also have a children’s Seed Saving table to encourage the little ones to get digging!
Several of our Farm Market friends will be in attendance with lots of delicious accompaniments to your tomato dishes. Stallholders will include Le Skinny Chef, Corleggy Cheese and Grass Roots Nutrition. Visiting stallholders include Dearbhla Reynolds from The Cultured Club, Freda Wolf of Intelligent Tea and The Herb Garden’s Denise Dunne.
We would like to extend our thanks to friends of the festival Nicky Kyle, Jane Powers, Dr Matthew Jebb, Colm Warren Polyhouses, Kathryn Marsh, Madeleine McKeever of Brown Envelope Seeds, Quickcrop, and all our competition prize givers. Thank you for your support!
The Festival will be open to visitors from 11.30am on the day. There will be the great display, competitors’ exhibits, talks, demonstrations, the Farm Market and lots more tomato fun! (Normal Garden Entrance to Killruddery applies to visit the Festival, to take part in the competitions and biodiversity display click here).
Keep in touch and join a growing tomato community at The Totally Terrific Tomato Festival Facebook page.
*Tomato Classes: When we say “classes” it means categories or types in horticultural terms.
All tomato images are with thanks to Jonathan Hession and Killruddery Staff.