Get growing!

While tomatoes are only available from greenhouse growers in the spring, now is the time to plant tomatoes out in the garden.

In celebration of ASAP’s Get Local campaign in August (which highlights tomatoes), The Market Place will host a Homegrown Tomato Contest on Saturday, Aug 11. The contest will be open to all home gardeners, who’ll be encouraged to bring two tomatoes to be tasted by a panel of special-guest judges. Growers will also be invited to bring an “ugly” tomato for an all-in-good-fun Ugly Tomato Contest. Prizes will include a $100 gift certificate to The Market Place, market bucks to Asheville City Market, a pass for ASAP’s Farm Tour in September and more.

The event will also be open to the general public. All attendees can snack on tomato hors d’oeuvres and a tomato-based cocktail prepared by the Market Place. Gardening specialists will be on hand to share their expertise. Tickets for the general public are $20; tickets for contest entrants are $10. A portion of the proceeds will support ASAP.

Confident in your newly planted crop? Reserve your place in the contest now (entrants will be limited)! The public can also purchase advance tickets; contact the Market Place at 252-4162 or

Unlike tomatoes, radishes are extremely fast growing, maturing in three to four weeks. As long as summer’s truly long, hot days are that far off, they can be planted now, too.

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