By Vanessa Richins
September is a great time to visit Washington state.
That’s when Martin and Jennifer Ringhofer host TomatoFare.
The event was started as a way to revive tourism in the Soap Lake area.
Martin Ringhofer had started growing heirloom tomatoes after a serious illness. He felt that promoting the heirloom tomato would be a good way to leave his mark on the world.
As the website tells the story, “To further that goal, Ringhofer offered 900 free diverse heirloom tomato plants to gardeners in and around Soap Lake. His experience is that with proper fertilizer and water in the hot, arid environment around the lake, 36 plants can produce about 1,200 pounds of tomatoes. He knows this, because as a man who has learned to think in terms of organizing a process, he weighs his production.”
Participating gardeners can keep all but one week’s worth of the bounty from their free plants. Those tomatoes will be used at the TomatoFare festival held on September 6th.
TomatoFare features a Chef’s challenge, food and wine tastings, and the opportunity to try over 100 different kinds of heirloom tomatoes.
If you’d like to participate as a grower, plants are being given away from May 17th-May 31st, 2009. Visit their website for details.
Tickets: $20 advance
$25 day of the event
Children 12 and under are free with adult ticket purchase
They are only selling 300 tickets to provide the best possible experience for participants. Call White Heron Cellars at (509) 797-9463 to buy tickets or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think this is an amazing way to revitalize an area and promote the cause of heirloom tomatoes at the same time.
Will you be going to TomatoFare?