Gardener Mary Anne and her Golden Tomato Award

This year at our End of Season Potluck we celebrated another wonderful growing season. We are so proud of our backyard gardeners and all they have accomplished so far. Our backyard gardeners have already grown over 17,000 pounds of produce this season, with more being harvested daily. With so much abundance there was a lot to celebrate.

This year we started a new tradition to honor our gardeners and highlight some of the wonderful and funny things they did in their gardens this year. We handed out 12 Golden Tomato awards and certificates for things like the ugliest vegetable grown and the largest sweet potato. Gardeners submitted pictures of kids holding sweet potatoes larger than their heads, okra plants over 12 feet tall and tomato harvests that neared in on 500 pounds! With so many wonderful gardens and gardeners it was hard to narrow down to just 12 Golden Tomatoes!

Gardeners gathering for an end of season celebration

Pictured here is gardener Mary Anne who accepted an award on behalf of her chickens, Wynona and company, who won best pest hunters for their work eating all the insect pests in Mary Anne’s garden. We had another pest winner – a little boy named Steven who was so impressively good at catching and squishing cabbage moths on our garden visit that he deserved his ‘Best Pest Squisher’ award. Our gardener Graham submitted a picture of a tomato she grew that she named a devil tomato for its two  horn like appendages, she took home the ‘Ugliest Vegetable’ award.

Ugliest vegetable award winner – the devil tomato

We were proud of our gardener Rachelle who through the end of August had grown 486 pounds of tomatoes, taking the top spot and the Golden Tomato award for most tomatoes grown.  Another gardener and her son took home the award for a sweet potato that was larger than his head, he was quite excited to receive the Golden Tomato award for the largest sweet potato!

Although we celebrated 12 gardeners with awards, all our gardeners worked so hard and learned so much this year. We gathered to connect, share stories from our gardens, and best of all share a meal from our gardens as well. There were delicious garden fresh dishes of stewed okra, roasted green beans, salads, and perhaps best of all homemade, garden fresh blueberry hand pies. They went fast and the requests for the recipes have been flooding my email inbox. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful and dedicated gardening community that makes celebrating each and every one of them an easy and delightful task.

Homemade blueberry handpies at the potluck