One Month Until MAGTAG 2009!

cecilia_md7a(7a/Baltimore,MD)July 22, 2009

Time to start thinking about what you intend to contribute (besides tomatoes, of course).

This weekend I will look through the leftover supplies from last year's event, and see what we can still use.

As usual, I will run the BLT Bar. I'm taking a vacation day 8/21 to nuke several pounds of bacon. Like last year, he bar will include various types of bread, mayo (Duke's if I can still find it), olive oil, basil, romaine and iceberg lettuce, and several types of cheese. I will probably need extra tomatoes, though (help, Mr. Flynn!). If you have any special requests, like other condiments or turkey/soy bacon, please let me know.

I'll also supply soap for the restrooms and hand sanitizer for the portable potty. As usual, I will provide directional signs/posters. Greg F., do your kids want to do the tip jar this year?

My DH Dave has once again offered his grilling services, if sombody provides stuff for him to grill. Perhaps Dave and Greg M can tag-team again this year. If you are a vegetarian or have other special dietary needs, and would like something like veggie burgers or tofu dogs, please bring them.

I will provide wine and leave the beer to the brewmeisters.

And since my Dad, Edwin R. Strakna, will be 87 on 8/23, Dave is buying a "Mobtown Brown" pie (that's the MD version of a Derby Pie - the name "Derby" is patented) and a fruit pie from Dangerously Delicious in Baltimore (here's a shameless plug for Rodney Henry, who runs the place, and whose motto is "Rock 'n' Roll and Pies"-www.dangerouspies.com)

I intend to continue last year's tradition of presenting the person/group who has traveled the farthest with a can Maryland's most famous condiment, Old Bay Seafood Seasoning.

Which reminds me - the Mid-Atlantic covers a large area, approximately from Southern NY to Southern VA. I know that the official Chesapeake Watershed goes as far north as western PA, since Dave and I see the signs when we take the turnpike to Somerset to visit his family. We don't want this to be purely a DC/Balto./Beltway festival. If you have any "signature" local favorites (tomatoes, dishes, etc.), by all means include them! (After all, everybody has heard of the mythical Jersey tomato.)

I thought that Greg F.'s "penny jar" method of tallying votes for the tasting competition worked pretty well last year. If I recall correctly, the only problem was that latecomers (like Bluekat with her magnificent assortment of 'maters) received fewer votes than earlybirds (like that dastardly Mr. Flynn). Should we specify a time for actual votes (not necessarily actual tasting)? Any other comments/ideas?

Lastly, you are all encouraged to bring any fruits of your harvest to the tasting, no matter how meager. We MUST end Greg Flynn's stranglehold on all the prizes.

Sorry for the rambling post. Happy gardening!

- Ceil

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jessicavanderhoff(7 Md)

This sounds like a cool thing! Is this open to the public?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 5:23PM
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gladgourd(7)

Hi Cecelia,
I hope you are feeling well. Last year was my first time and I loved tasting all the varieties I only read about. As a newcomer, I did not know what time to arrive and I got there kind of late. So, I would recommend that people bring their tomatoes at a certain specified time for the "voting". I thought the Greg Flynn penny method was very smart and quite fun.
Its gonna be hard to top Greg's prize-winning maters but its sure worth a try!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 10:31AM
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cecilia_md7a(7a/Baltimore,MD)

Jessica, yes, it's open to the public. If you go to www.t0mat0ville.c0m (replace the zeros with "o"s), there is an entire forum devoted to MAGTAG. The directions are posted in the link below - they haven't changed since I first posted them in 2007. Note that if you're anywhere near the Baltimore Light Rail, you can also take that - there is a station adjacent to the park.

Gladgourd, thanks for the good wishes. I finished my radiation treatments yesterday, and I feel great (except for the fact that I'm twenty lbs. heavier). I'm still planning to temporarily dye my (very short) hair bright red this year for the fest!

Here is a link that might be useful: Detailed Directions to MAGTAG

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 1:30PM
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annebert(6b/7a MD)

I have a huge bag of heavy duty paper plates. I think there are 250, so should be plenty for all our needs. Let me know if we need them, Cecilia.

I'll also bring some organic grass-fed beef burgers, probably about 3 lb worth, and buns to go with.

My plants are looking healthy (including Emily B and Emily C) and loaded with green fruit, and we got 3" of rain yesterday, so I'll aim to bring extra tomatoes for the BLT bar-will let you know the prospects as we get closer.

I am looking forward to celebrating your dad's birthday again! He is a year older than mine and he really handled that stinking hot day of his 85th birthday well.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 3:00PM
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cecilia_md7a(7a/Baltimore,MD)

annebert, the paper plates will certainly come in handy - we can use them to put the cut-up tomatoes on during the tasting competition. Maybe we'll be lucky enough to get 250 different varieties and use all the plates up!

Anne's mention of organic burgers made me think of something that I forgot to say in my original post - if you DON'T have any specific dietary needs or preferences, please be considerate and try not to pig out on all the "special" stuff that people bring to fit their own dietary needs (unless they offer you some, of course) :)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 12:37PM
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gflynn(z7 MD)

Annbert,

If Emily B and C turn out well please save me some seeds. My crop is in utter failure this year because of a herbicide that was in the FREE manure I added to ALL of my tomato spots.

I do have some stuff in pots and partial success in some garden spots so I won't be empty handed but I am going to miss out on this generation of Emily without some help.

On the other website I mentioned bring Costo hotdogs and hamburgers for the kids ect.

Also, I think I have a successful cross or two that could prove interesting.

Greg

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 9:53AM
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cecilia_md7a(7a/Baltimore,MD)

I posted a photo of yesterday's harvest here:
http://www.t0mat0ville.c0m/attachment.php?attachmentid=10427&d=1249057942

(As usual, you need to replace the zeros with letters.)

The varieties picturedare (clockwise from top left) Polish Dwarf, Sungold, Stupice, Cherokee Green, Black Krim, Hopkins, and Chesapeake.

I ate some of the Sungolds, Stupices, and Polish Dwarfs (Dwarves?) today, and they tasted great. DH and I will probably wait for the weekend to try the larger varieties, when we break out the fresh mozzarella.

Forgot to mention, EVERYTHING isn't perfect so far - as you can see, the Cherokee Green and Cheasapeake are catfaced, and several of my 'maters have had BER. But if everything doesn't peter out in a few weeks, I should have more toms for MAGTAG this year than last. I hope so, since we won't be able to rely on the usual treasure trove from Greg this year.

I can't say it enough: Please, everybody, try contribute some of your harvest to MAGTAG this year!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 12:40PM
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annebert(6b/7a MD)

I will definitely save Emily B and C seeds, and stifle the comment I was going to make about needing all 250 plates just for Greg's tomatoes. I'm sorry to hear about the bad luck.

I'm looking for some warm weather to ripen all my tomatoes in time for the big day.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 5:40PM
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gflynn(z7 MD)

Annebert,

I am getting a few. It could be a little better then I expected 2 weeks ago.

Thanks for saving some seeds, I would love to get some. Have you tried any Emilys yet? Are they good?

Greg

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 4:37PM
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annebert(6b/7a MD)

Emilies are still green. Cool nights....

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 7:52AM
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gardnwatch

Gosh darn..I am so sorry I will miss the tasting this year.
I have the biggest crop of tomatoes I have EVER had. Just today I pulled off 20 Giant Belgiums and 12 Heinz maters. This is about the 5th time I have done this so far this summer. Some of my Belguims have weighed more than 1 1/2 lbs each. Unbelieveable. I had a previous engagement planned for this day and will not be able to attend the Magtag.
I will look forward to seeing and hearing about the results of the taating and hope that next year my crops will be as prolific. Cheers to you all...
Bonnie

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 12:29AM
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cecilia_md7a(7a/Baltimore,MD)

Bonnie, sorry you can't make it - we'll miss you (and your 'maters!).

I picked my first 2-pounder yesterday! It was a Church - my first one. Haven't tasted it yet. I took a photo but haven't downloaded it to my computer yet.

As far as my Mid-Atlantic varieties are concerned, the Greater Baltimores are finally coming in. They're not as tangy as I would prefer, but my DH, who likes milder toms, just loves them. They taste like a decent old market variety, which is just what they are! I should have plenty of GBs for MAGTAG - the plant has plenty of fruit.

Still have lots of green or ripening fruit on most of the plants, and only a few signs of early blight (particularly on Black Krim). I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a large harvest - since we'll need all the extras we can get, because of Greg's limited supply.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 9:59AM
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cecilia_md7a(7a/Baltimore,MD)

You can view the photo of my two-pound Church tomato here:

http://www.t0mat0ville.c0m/attachment.php?attachmentid=10618&d=1250078748

Just replace the zeros in t0mat0ville.c0m with letters.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 8:10AM
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