Great tomatoes lead to great expectations: Here Wyatt DePace, 3,...

Great tomatoes lead to great expectations: Here Wyatt DePace, 3, of Albertson, shows off his contender in last year's Great Long Island Tomato Challenge at Newsday headquarters in Melville on Aug. 18, 2017. DePace later won an award for his entry. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

It’s time for the 12th annual Great Long Island Tomato Challenge! Every year, my tomato-growing readers descend upon Newsday headquarters, tomatoes in tow, to enjoy an evening of competition and camaraderie. This year, I’d like to see you there!

There is no need to register; just bring your biggest (or smallest or ugliest) tomato to Newsday (235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville) on Aug. 30, at 7 p.m. I’ll weigh (or otherwise judge) your tomato personally, and you could be named the 2018 Tomato King or Queen.

As you await the big day, send a photo of yourself with your tomato plants, along with details about your growing techniques and the varieties you’re growing, to, and you might be featured in an upcoming issue of Newsday and on Then come back and follow the competition 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 ripe, 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; 7-12; 13-17
  • Smallest, all ages (measured, not weighed; must be red)
  • Ugliest, all ages (at the sole discretion of the judges)

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