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A Perfect August Day For The Eighth Annual Tomato Tasting at The Local Pig

The crowd was thick and the weather was mild Saturday morning for the eighth annual Kansas City Tomato Times Tomato Tasting. It was difficult to keep up with slicing tomatoes for the steady stream of heirloom enthusiasts who arrived to taste the bounty of summer. More than 200 arrived to sample and discuss their plans for growing […]

2015 Tomato Tasting

In its seventh year, The KC Tomato Times festival of the heirloom tomato is still going strong. Despite a slow growing season marked by a cool and wet spring, James Worley still managed to round up 48 varieties of tomatoes for garden enthusiasts and passersby to taste and celebrate. James has posted the final results of […]


First Blush

Farmer T was out in the garden tying up tomato plants when he shouted, “We have a ripe tomato!” The first tomato of the season is also the tastiest, so the Czech variety Stupice has long been a favorite here at TomatoTown. Our excitement over Stupice’s smallish red globes may wane as the season progresses , but […]

On the prowl for grape jelly.

Orioles Blaze Through Town

It does not feel like spring until we’ve had a visit from our migrating friends, the Baltimore Orioles. Once we hear their song in the trees, out comes the grape jelly and the show begins! Another bold neighborhood bird with a more muted plumage is the mewing Catbird. A taste for jam brings him to […]

2014 Heirloom Tomato Tasting at The Local Pig

To the uninitiated, it might seem odd to gather for a tomato party at 9am on a Saturday. Luckily, gardeners are early risers by necessity. And with more than 100 varieties to taste and 150 of our fellow gardeners to catch up with, it pays to arrive early notebook in hand to keep track of […]

Fifth Annual Tomato Tasting, A Success!

Close to one hundred tomato enthusiasts were stunned by the selection of heirloom tomatoes on hand at this year’s Tomato Tasting.  Hosted by Local Pig, the event was boosted by heaps of pork to add to tomato sandwiches. As each year ticks off, the festival becomes bigger and better, and shockingly, it is still free! […]

Two, count them, two ripe Black Cherry Tomatoes.

First Tomato of 2013

Oh, the excitement is palpable. It is official, we’ve set a new record here in TomatoTown. June 25th is the absolute earliest we have had a ripe tomato. The variety is a Black Cherry tomato, a favorite. Despite its diminutive size it packs a wallop of flavor.  In another first, this is the first time […]

TomatoTown at LatteLand

If you are a fan of the photos Julie Denesha creates for TomatoTown, and you are already missing the summertime tomato season, take a moment to stop by LatteLand before October 6. Angie Jennings, LatteLand’s curator of photography, has hung a show of heirloom beauties from TomatoTowns private collection in vintage frames. LatteLand, Prairie Village […]

A colorful selection of tomatoes.

Tomato Tasting 2012

The fourth annual KCTT Tomato Tasting was in a word – delicious. After a tough gardening season of high temperatures and little rain, it was good to be among other gardeners, to hear about their adventures, and taste the results. Our hosts, James Worley and Jennifer Nugent, always make it a festive celebration. This year, […]

We are gathering earlier!

4th Annual Tomato Tasting TIME CHANGE

Calling all tomato mavens!!! Consider this your invitation!!! The time draws near for Kansas City’s annual gathering of tomato aficionados. On August fourth, James Worley will host the annual tomato tasting.  James Worley will be hosting a Tomato Tasting at Roe Park. It is always a festive convergence of good food and interesting people. Worley is a longtime gardener and generous […]


Unbidden Edibles

Farmer T has a special fondness for plants that spontaneously sprout in our garden beds. He spends time cultivating them, moving them if necessary and cheering them on. Often they are the most productive plants.    

Heirloom Peppers!

Too Much Pepper

When you grow as many tomatoes as we do, you start hankering for salsa. So we grow a fair number of peppers, both sweet and hot. This year, our favorite so far is the prolific Albino Bullnose.  We also enjoy poblanos, red mini bells, and yellow banana peppers.  

An unnamed purple shouldered variety

Field Trip: Keith Mueller’s Test Plots

Ever since we experienced the wonders of Keith Mueller’s legendary heirloom hybrids, we hoped to have a chance to see him in action. So when Keith told us that he would be pollinating his tomatoes last weekend, we leapt at the chance. Over the years, Keith has created a number of exceptional tomato varieties including: Dora, […]

Purple Calabash

Purple Calabash

According to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation,  this green-shouldered beauty dates back to pre-Columbian Mexico. The Aztecs created the first salsa combining it with hot peppers and ground squash seeds. We love the funky ribs and the taste has an intensity that is exciting.  

Costoluto Genovese

Costoluto Genovese

Wednesday morning, Farmer J found Farmer T in the midst of a victory dance. He had discovered a blushing Costoluto Genovese, a fluted Italian variety from Baker Creek. Of course, any tomato is reason to celebrate, but the first ripe fruit of the season is especially noteworthy. Tomato season has officially begun!

A newly-ripened Jet Star

Red is the Color

Farmer J and her mother have an ongoing, friendly competition over who hosts the first red tomato of the season.  This year, the award goes to her mother with not one, but two Jet Star tomatoes.  They were picked blushing on June 6th, and photographed fully ripe on June 11. This is a record for […]

Farmer R gives the seedlings a long drink

With a Little Help from Our Friends

  We are excited about this year’s new crop of tomatoes!  A few days of ill-timed rain kept us from planting for several days, but a fortunate window presented itself and we just managed to get our plants in before a deluge.  Torrential rain after planting is most welcome and it will give our young […]

Seedlings ready for transplanting

The List

Our varieties for 2012 1. Abe Lincoln 2. Absinthe 3. Anna Russian 4. Aunt Lou’s Underground Railroad 5. Aunt Ruby’s German Green 6. Black Cherry 7. Black from Tula 8. Black Krim 9. Brandywine Sudduth’s Strain 10. Bull’s Heart 11. Burraker’s Favorite 12. Carbon 13. Cherokee Green 14. Cherokee Purple 15. Cowlick Brandywine 16. Dr. […]

Lovely, Lanky Plants

And They’re Off…

Stormy weather pursues us on tomato pickup day. At least the looming rain clouds produced no hail this year. Whatever the weather, it is always a very exciting day that marks the beginning of a new tomato season. When James puts out his list in February, we spend snowed-in days pouring over tomato descriptions trying to […]

A Blushing Black Krim

Don’t Make Me Blush

People often ask us when to pick tomatoes from the vine. Once you see a faint blush on the fruit, it is time to bring them inside. Otherwise, fully-ripened, red fruit are just advertising that the buffet is open to all the squirrels and birds in the neighborhood. Do not fear that picking early will […]

Spring Tilling

Farmer T dusts off the garden tiller to help prepare the soil for our young tomato plants.