The 2018 Lowndes County Tomato Battle has a champion. In his first year to participate, Charlie Griffin brought in the winning whopper that tipped the scale at 32.13 ounces.
At the suggestion of a neighbor in April, Griffin attended a tomato growing seminar presented by the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Lowndes County. By the end of the event, he’d signed up for the contest.
Extension Agent Reid Nevins said, “This is now in its fifth year and begins each spring with a seminar where attendees receive two improved tomato varieties to take home and grow as they see fit. It’s something fun for gardeners to participate in but also gives them a chance to try a new tomato variety.”
This year’s contest variety was Steakhouse. Weigh-ins were held July 1-15.
Griffin, an experienced tomato grower, said, “They had a good seminar, and I enjoyed that and got some tips. It affirmed what I’d been doing.”
In addition to monetary and gardening supply prizes, Griffin received an added bonus from the contest. His grandson, 10-year-old Timothy Childs, has been visiting from Kenya, Africa, this summer and, after watching his granddad nurture the winning entry, got inspired to try his own hand at gardening.
Second place in the 2018 contest went to Linda Warnat with a Steakhouse tomato weighing in at 27.54 ounces. Linda Shepherd, Griffin’s neighbor, took third place with her 23.82-ounce entry.
The Lowndes County Extension Office, Lowndes Farm Supply and Palmer Home Greenhouses sponsored the contest.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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