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By Douglas Sciorra

Mark your calendar: The Tomato Festival will be Sunday August 28 in Alfred NY

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The Alfred Farmers Market holds annual celebration at peak harvest

By Andrew Harris

Cherokee Red, Mortgage Lifter, Sungold, Pink Lady, Beefstake, Brandywine….

Fresh sliced tomato, dripping with unami, is truly one of the joys of summer. If you haven’t had a sliced tomato sandwich with mayo on white bread or eaten a summer salad full of Sungold cherry tomatoes this year, it’s time.

The folks and farmers who make the Alfred Farmers Market the premier farmers market in Allegany county know tomatoes. Alfred Station’s Living Acres Farm grow thousands of pounds of tomatoes each year, from three pound heirloom slicing tomatoes to cherry tomatoes that explode with flavor. They along with other farmers at the market will be selling and competing in the festival contest for the best tasting tomato of the season.

Those who are wise enough to attend this festival will also be the judges for the tomato tasting contests. Farmers will enter into multiple competitions based on variety of tomato. The tasters will be able to talk with the farmer, learn more about the different variations, and growing techniques. Farmers like Living Acres, who use regenerative, all-natural practices really take tomato growing to a high-level. It is hard to understate the difference that soil amendments, proper irrigation, and the growing environment make when it comes to flavor.

Love tomatoes? Want to meet some great farmers and fellow summer tomato lovers? Don’t miss this event next weekend, August 28 at the Alfred Farmers Market. The market and festival is held at the Alfred University “bandstand” on Main Street, you can’t miss it !!

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