Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival

I hesitate to call eating locally produced foods a trend A) because I hope it's more than a passing phase and B) because it's not a new concept; we're just finally making our way back to it.

Farmers markets are an obvious way to find ingredients grown or made in your area, but if you really want to get to know your food visit some of the food festivals going on in your state. All across the country celebrations are planned for regional specialties. Garlic, raspberries, bourbon, shrimp, corn and huckleberries are just a few of the honorees. Not only is it a fun and usually free way to spend the day, but you'll learn more about locally produced food.

Here in Arkansas the pink tomato is so beloved it was designated the state's official fruit in 1987. Of course we've been exalting the pink tomato long before it received its official title. The first Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival was in 1956 and now it's the oldest continuously running festival in the state.

The week-long fete includes events such as a tomato packing contest, a 5K run/walk, fish fry, turtle races, carnival and a tomato eating contest, of course. It's a fun way to spend a day and show support for a regional farming community.

To learn more about the Bradley County Tomato Festival visit BradleyPinkTomato.com.

Pink Tomato Varieties

  • Arkansas Traveler - Slicer, indeterminate, tolerates hot, dry weather
  • Bradley Heirloom - Slicer, indeterminate, good for canning and freezing
  • German Johnson - Slicer, indeterminate, tolerates humidity
  • German Queen - Beefsteak, indeterminate, low acid and meaty
  • Pink Brandywine - Beefsteak, indeterminate, a favorite for flavor
  • Pink Girl - Slicer, indeterminate, extra juicy
  • Porter Improved - Cherry, indeterminate, prolific

Good to Know:

Arkansas tomato farmer David Forrester says the way to determine if a pink tomato is ready for harvest is to look for a pale star on the bottom. Pick it before the star fills in with color.

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