Homegrown Tomato Festival Growers Clinic

Do you love tomatoes? Do you have a green thumb? Do you have a black thumb? Do you have a thumb?

If your answer is a resounding “YES” to at least one of those questions, we have the event for you!

Growing guru extraordinaire, Erin Hostetler, owner of the Patio Farmer, will be hosting a tomato growers clinic at the Evening Muse on Saturday, March 30, from 11:00am to 1:00pm. All tomato growing skill levels are welcome. She’ll be discussing her best tips and tricks to grow your very own ripe and delectable ‘maters. The event is free, but please register online.

The tomato growers clinic is the kick-off event for the 3rd annual Homegrown Tomato Festival taking place on July 27 from noon to 4:00pm at the Neighborhood Theatre. The annual tomato festival is a yearly fundraiser to support the mission and efforts of local non-profit, 100 Gardens.

Each year, the festival boasts the Homegrown Tomato contest in which tomato growers around the region compete for: Best Slicer, Best Non-Red, and Best Cherry tomato, in addition to some new “quirky” categories such as Best Dressed Tomato.

You DO NOT have to be a tomato savant to enter the contest, you just have to be willing to grow your own tomatoes and show up. The more growers, the merrier! We need as many participants as possible to support the festival.

The kick-off growers clinic is for everyone interested in growing tomatoes, whether or not you choose to enter the contest in July (though, the Patio Farmer is quite convincing).

We hope to see you and your eager ‘mater loving faces on March 30!

What: Tomato Growing Clinic
When: Saturday, March 30 (11:00am to 1:00pm)
Where: The Evening Muse
Who: Beginners to Seasoned Growers
Why: To Support 100 Gardens and Convince YOU to Enter the July Competition
How: Please Register Online via the Homegrown Tomato Festival Facebook Page
Cost: FREE (classes usually run $30/person, so this is a deal!)

…Oh! So you are interested in entering the 2019 Homegrown Tomato Contest? Please email Erin Hostetler to sign-up. If you sign-up as a contestant before the March 30 growers clinic, bags of succulent soil will be provided to you for FREE by Super-Sod at the Evening Muse. And this stuff is no joke. You want the plumpest and tastiest of tomatoes? You want an edge up on the competition? Super-Sod’s Soil³ is your ticket.

Why 100 Gardens is Super Important:

Charlotte based non-profit, 100 Gardens, implements aquaponics farming in schools to provide hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), with additional emphasis on nutrition and business. They have aquaponic programs in eight local schools including Garinger High School, Myers Park High School, Oakhurst STEAM Academy, and Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center.

Within each school’s greenhouse, students learn how to grow fresh fish and vegetables using aquaponics. Staff from 100 Gardens install the system, develop lesson plans aligned with NC Essential Standards, train teachers, and organize workshops and internships for the students.

With your help, we can improve and expand our efforts and achieve our goal of “100 Gardens.”