Fourth Annual Floyd’s Finest Tomato Contest Draws a Crowd: Aug 17 Farmers Market Report

Lyn Chipkin of Indian Valley Farm
Lyn Chipkin of Indian Valley Farm
Despite unfavorable growing conditions and an early outbreak of late blight in Floyd County, a few growers were able to find tomatoes worthy to enter in the Floyd’s Finest Tomato Contest. We had seven entrants in the Best Tasting category and two in the Biggest category. Varieties represented among the entrants for Best Tasting were: Black Krim, Rapalo, Green Zebra, Celebrity, Sun Gold, and an unknown variety. The two varieties entered for the Biggest tomato were: Big Rainbow and Super Steak. Prizes were Cutting Boards donated by Phoenix Hardwoods, which fabricates beautiful wood products from species indigenous to Floyd County. First Place winners were Lyn Chipkin of Indian Valley Farm with the Sun Gold tomato for Best Tasting tomato and Dale Krigsvold with the Super Steak for Biggest tomato. Runner Up winners were Lyn Chipkin for both Best Tasting and Biggest tomatoes with Black Krim and Big Rainbow, respectively. Congratulations to both Lyn and Dale!

We would like to draw attention to two changes in the market which directly improve the comfort level of market goers. We now have another café table with benches to pair up with the table and benches already provided by vendors of Black Water Loft/Red Rooster products, Rose and Haden. We also now have two long wood benches with backs and a backless oak bench, all fabricated by Highland Hardwoods of Floyd. The three benches are all wonderfully comfortable and a boon to market patrons who need a wee rest.

As the season goes on, we are beginning to see a mix of products that include cooler weather cropd such as fennel, sugar peas and apples as well as the usual summer mix of eggplants, potatoes, beans, carrots, tomatoes, summer squashes, blueberries, melons, peaches, nectarines, and plums. Because of the return to cold temperatures and rain we should see that tomatoes will be out of the market very quickly. Blueberries and sweet corn are also on the way out of the market within the next week or two. So, stock up on those products next week; if they are still available.

Tree's flowers
Tree’s flowers
Next week we will be selling raffle tickets for a beautiful summer bouquet by Tree Gigante of Perennial Uprisings. Raffle tickets will be on sale at the Perennial Uprising table and the Information Table in the market and at the offices of Sustain Floyd and will be $2.00 each. Again, proceeds from this raffle will go to meet costs of purchase and installation of the sound system that will deliver music throughout the market. We enjoy the work of our musicians who come and provide free music to the market and want to deliver their music to all corners of our market in a way that will allow conversation to continue at the same time.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind our patrons that our musicians are not paid and that gratuities are very much appreciated. More than one of them travels all the way from Blacksburg and Radford with all of the own equipment to play for us. Our vendors provide them with a box of produce but gas money is much appreciated!

— Marsha Krigsvold, Floyd Farmers Market Manager

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