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(Photos courtesy of NatureSweet Tomatoes)Listen to Larry’s interview on Capital Public Radio

(official press release)


FOLSOM, CALIFORNIA (Sept. 9, 2006) — NatureSweet Tomatoes congratulates Larry Williams of Fair Oaks for winning the $5,000 grand prize at the September 9 Homegrown Tomato Challenge, held at the Raley’s store at 25025 Blue Ravine Road in Folsom. Williams won the competition with his Sweet Million variety of tomatoes.

While Williams can now claim to be one of America’s best tomato gardeners, he faced stiff competition by the following runners-up, who all received a $250 Raley’s store voucher for their premium tomato entries: Don Ravenscraft of Rio Linda (Sunsweet variety), Yevdokia Boychemko of North Highlands (cherry variety), and Jill Robbins of Sacramento (Pineapple beefsteak variety).

Ten finalists were chosen from more than 82 entries. NatureSweet’s distinguished judges included Pat Rubin, Home and Garden columnist at the Sacramento Bee; Michael Marks, TV’s “Your Produce Man”, columnist and celebrity chef; Gwen Schoen, Food Writer for the Sacramento Bee; Julie Watts, KCRA-TV3 Weather Plus Forecaster; and Michael Schutt, Raley’s Produce Merchant.

Winners were chosen based on overall appearance/color tests and Brix testing. Brix tests determine sweetness — the higher the Brix number, the better the taste. The finalists were then taste-tested by the judge’s panel. All surplus tomato entries were donated to the Twin Lakes Food Bank in Folsom after the Challenge.

The Homegrown Tomato Challenge treks across the country as NatureSweet continues to seek out America’s best homegrown tomatoes.
Here are a few photos. The winners look happy! Congrats, all!

(Photos courtesy of NatureSweet Tomatoes)

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