We had less people than usual, and I suspect that the heat kept away 25-35-50 people (the weather reports were all spinning the fear factor - and I believe we who attended may have been more comfortable than those who stayed away!).
We had a remarkable number of tomato varieties to taste - in a way, it seems 3 varieties for every attendee! The reduced attendance actually made it a more casual, relaxed, and in a way, tomato-centric affair. The sheer number of new Dwarf varieties was intimidating in terms of tracking flavors. Between the big tasting Lee and I did at my house earlier in the week, the mini tastings Sue and I have been doing - my palate, though not shot, is a bit worn. I confess to having tasted very few of the tomatoes from the indeterminate or cherry areas - I did taste the three different lines of Lucky Cross I brought (and was very pleased with). But the Dwarf varieties have ARRIVED. No longer can we assume that there is no great flavored, large fruited, interesting colored alternatives to the indeterminate heirloom types. We've managed to create in many cases their equal - if not in yield, certainly in fruit quality.
For me, those that stood out (that I can remember) are the various Cherokee Chocolates (I brought 4 - from various seed lots I've saved through the years), Cherokee Green, Martha's work in progress Chocolate Truffle (it is not yet selected or stabilized - go for it, Martha!), the three Lucky Crosses, Spears TN Green amongst the non-dwarfs....
....and for the Dwarfs (which is where I set up shop and spent most of the event, knife in hand!) - Blazing Beauty 2842 and 2851 (neither of which will be the lead selection), the red Brawny F2, Coorong Red (it is a good one, Patrina!), Dwarf Mahogany, Dwarf Russian Swirl (it showed well at this event - I find it the equal of the large indeterminate Regina's Yellow types, but not as good as Wherokowhai), Dwarf Emerald Giant, Dwarf Jade Beauty, Loxton Lass (the one I brought tasted better to me here than at home - a lovely orange tomato, but not as good as Mallee Rose or Blazing Beauty), Maralinga, Pesty Bicolor (better than Russian Swirl and larger - needs a name!), Pesty Pink, Rosella Purple, Summertime Green, Summertime Gold, Sweet Sue, Sweet Adelaide (it has the white dots on the skin - this is a nice selection!), TastyWine (perhaps the best tomato I tasted), one of the Rosy F3s with the Uluru Ochre coloring, the Uluru Ochre I brought, Tidy striped - purple fruit (very dark color), and a few of the Wherokowhai (I think it was Echo from Martha - though my selection was pretty good as well). Some of the purple fruited Frostys were good, but I was in la la land by then and can't recall them clearly!
Maybe I should note the dwarfs that didn't show well - BrandyFred, Wild Fred (shelf ripened, from a plant that was near dead at the time - was better earlier in the season), Perth Pride (wasn't fully ripe), Rosella Crimson (plants were all past their peak for these smaller fruit), Sarandipity (we have the color but not yet the best flavor), Sleeping Lady (not a bad tomato, just milder - got lost in this crowd flavor wise), Tasmanian chocolate (also got kinda lost in this crowd, and fruit a bit past).
I just got finished watering - there is a TON of ripe fruit on my tomato vines - going to be a few days of canning fruit, making roasted sauce and canning, and whipping out our tomato recipes for meals!
so, next year - Tomatopalooza TEN.....the organizers need to ponder something special, methinks!
And about T-Shirts - see the pic of the back design below.....we have Tshirts in four sizes - Medium, Large, XL and XXL - various colors (XXL in pale green, XL in pale green and pale blue, L in pale green, pale blue, bright yellow, sand and pale lilac, and M in pale green, pale blue, bright yellow and sand). 15.00 each - email me if you are interested!
Links to pictures Lee took can be found here - and the variety list here.
A few pics taken by Sue -