Tomato Fest held at Henderson Farmers Market

HENDERSON, Tenn. — One popular fruit is the star of a local farmers market.

“I love tomatoes, yes. There is not a bad spot on them. Perfect sandwich,” said Tomato Fest attendee Aloha Prather.

If you’re a fan of tomatoes, there were plenty to go around at the first Tomato Fest at the Henderson Farmers Market.

“Tomatoes are one of the main reasons people come to farmers markets, so today is our big tomato day,” said Chester County UT Extension Agent Steve Rickman. “We are having all kinds of contests, we are giving away free tomatoes, two free tomatoes per customer.”

Contests included largest, smallest, prettiest, and ugliest tomato, as well as a tomato toss competition.

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Attendees Kristen and Jeremy Hicks say they were grateful they made the decision to visit the farmers market.

“We saw that that was going on today. That was neat,” said Kristen Hicks. “We got some free tomatoes, a free bag, and we got to talk to a master gardener about a program, so that was cool.”

Prather says she stocked up on her favorite fruits and vegetables, with tomatoes being at the top of the list.

“Put a little salt and pepper on them, put them on a sandwich or make a salad. It is all good. There is nothing like home grown tomatoes,” Prather said.

Rickman says the goal for Tomato Fest is to provide education on growing tomatoes, but it’s also about supporting local farmers.

“People are more concerned about where their products come from that they are bringing in their homes to eat,” said Rickman. “We try to provide fresh produce, vegetables and things that are grown locally.”

And the Hicks say that is the reason they come to the farmers market.

“You’re able to talk to farmers that are here that grow the actual food. I think that is really cool when you make those connections,” Kristen Prather said.

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“They are why we are able to do what we do because a lot of us don’t farm,” said Justin Prather. “To be able to support them keeps us going.”

If you missed Tomato Fest, there will be another event to highlight beef and pork in July.

The Henderson Farmers Market is open every Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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