You heard right. Tomato tasting. And it was a taste treat.
I saw a little blurb in the local paper, so Jaime looked up the directions. The festival was to be held at High Gate, the former home of a coal baron in Fairmont that echoed the timbered look of old English architecture. The festival was held on the grounds of the carriage house of the original estate, and the tasting itself was inside the carriage house.
High Gate, stone walls, arches, steps and walls abounded. James and Michaela had a great time climbing up and over the walls as we explored the various vendors.
We found a soap maker who had lovely rose petal soap and Shea butter hand lotion as well as handmade birdhouses.
We talked to people promoting worm farms, looked at the screen house full of Monarch butterflies, bought lemon thyme plants.
June's Zebra Tomato won third place! We think it should have been first.
Seeing June and her daughters was a surprise pleasure. They were selling breads and jams and other items. June is a storyteller, part of the duo called Mountain Echoes. She's also a great gardener and beekeeper.
Lasagna class was getting to start, but we had to leave.
We didn't stay for the many workshops and lectures scheduled for the day.
I left thinking that many other small towns could offer a similar festival. It was laid-back, interesting and unusual, and made me want to try a few new varieties next year. The classes were interesting too--we wanted to stay for the one on tomato diseases and treatments, but it was time to go home to make Aaron's dinner. Which was Eggplant Parmesan, good homemade bread from the festival and a salad featuring Jaime's Strawberry Beefsteak and German Pink tomatoes.