One of the championship tomatoes grown by two time winner Mike Mansfield of Oceanport is weighed by Sickles Market garden manager Natale Siclare, in a past edition of the annual Biggest Tomato Contest. Top-seeded contestants will attempt to ketchup with the record when the annual event returns to the Little Silver landmark on Saturday, with LEGENDARY LOCALS author Eileen Moon also on premises. (File photo by Peter Lindner)
The competition is hot and heavy as a Sunday Sauce — and the stakes, it goes without saying, are high — as Sickles Market will once again play host to an event that salutes the end of summer in inimitable Jersey style: the Biggest Tomato Contest. The third annual edition of the popular promotion returns to the Little Silver landmark this Saturday, August 30, with weigh-in time at 1 pm.
Judging will take place in two age groups — adults, and kids aged 5 to 13 — with the winning junior champ awarded a Sickles Market Gardening Kit, and the adult category winner presented with a $100 gift certificate. Contest rules require that a tomato must be presented by the grower, with entries judged by weight only. Mike Mansfield, an Oceanport resident and winner of both previous contests, is the current record holder with a 2012 entry that sagged the scales at 3.26 pounds.
Attendees will also be able to learn more about many other home-grown champions of the greater Green, as author Eileen Moon will be present from 12:30 to 2:30 pm to sign copies of Legendary Locals of Red Bank, her recently published book of history from Arcadia Publishing. The veteran journalist and former managing editor of the Two River Times has assembled a fascinating celebration of the “Red Bankers present and past who invested their skills, talents and aspirations in building a community. This book is an illustration of how we are all connected, and how our individual lives, from generation to generation, create a community that becomes both a haven and a launching pad for those who are proud to call it home.”
Got a potentially legendary tomato staring at you from the garden? There’s still time to register for the Biggest Tomato Contest, by emailing [email protected] with full name and telephone number.