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LifestyleColumnistsJessica Damiano

2019 Great Long Island Tomato Challenge

Catarina Rasizzi, of Northport, holds her ugly tomato

Catarina Rasizzi, of Northport, holds her ugly tomato during Newsday's annual tomato contest. Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

It’s time for the 13th annual Great Long Island Tomato Challenge! There’s nothing like a homegrown tomato — and there’s nothing more fun than an evening of competition and camaraderie among tomato-growing friends. Whether you’ve been attending for years or are new to the game, I’d love to see you there!

There is no need to register; just bring your biggest (or smallest or ugliest) tomato to the Campus Center at Farmingdale State College in Ballrooms B and C, 2350 Broadhollow Rd (Rte. 110) in Farmingdale (please park in lot 4A) on Friday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. I’ll weigh (or otherwise judge) your entry, and you could be named Tomato King or Queen of 2019. Please carry your tomato entries in a container or bag to protect carpeting from mishaps.

The competition starts now: As you await the big day, send a photo of yourself with your tomato seedlings, plants or developing fruit — along with details about your growing techniques and varieties you’re growing — to jessica@jessicadamiano.com, and you might be featured in an upcoming issue of Newsday and on Newsday.com. Then come back to see what your neighbors are growing every Sunday all summer long.

The rules:

Tomatoes must be homegrown, fresh and not previously frozen. Only those entered in the Smallest category need to be red, and stems should be removed from all entries before weighing.

Entries will be judged in six categories:

  • Heaviest adult-grown tomato (ages 18 and up)
  • Three heaviest youth-grown categories: 6 and younger, 7 to 12, 13 to 17
  • Smallest, all ages (measured, not weighed; must be red)
  • Ugliest, all ages (named at the sole discretion of the judges)

The Great Long Island Tomato Challenge will be held in the Campus Center at Farmingdale State College in Ballrooms B and C, 2350 Broadhollow Rd (Rte. 110) in Farmingdale. Please park in lot 4A.

No purchase necessary. Additional terms and restrictions apply. See newsday.com/tomatorules for details.

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