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Food / July 27, 2022

Ugliest tomato competition returning after a two-year hiatus

Food / July 27, 2022

Ugliest tomato competition returning after a two-year hiatus

Words: Shamim de Brún

Urban Farm and Gardens, Airfield Estate, will host the two-day “Totally Terrific Tomato Festival” on August 27 and 28, 2022. 

Celebrating its tenth birthday, this unique festival champions the culture and diversity of the humble tomato.

Founded by organic gardener Nicky Kyle, this festival will feature ‘over a hundred tomato varieties. The two-day event includes many demonstrations and scheduled talks with expert guest speakers. On Saturday, UCD’s Dr Emma Feeney will deliver an interactive tomato taste experience. On Sunday, there’s an interactive talk on breeding new tomato varieties. This will be hosted by the Irish coordinator for the GAIA foundation Jason Horner

Sixty tomato growers from across the country have pledged to grow tomatoes for the festival. Individuals who contribute tomatoes to the display will automatically enter the tomato competition. There will be prizes awarded for several categories, including the much-coveted title of “ugliest” tomato. 

Nicky Kyle said, “The issue of global food security has never been more relevant. The current war in Ukraine is showing us just how dangerous it is to allow control of valuable global commodities to be concentrated in too few hands. The war urgently highlights that we can and must find alternatives to oil. But there is no alternative to food”. 

She added, “We all need to eat! Since the 1980s, I have held several events to interest people in preserving genetic diversity to ensure food security. But it wasn’t until 2012 that I felt people were becoming interested enough in the provenance of their food for it to be worth having another try. So the festival has moved around since its birth in 2012. And I am thrilled to see its adoption by Airfield Estate this year.” 

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