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Celebrate summer at the Tomato Extravaganza in San Luis Obispo

Tomato Heads are fun to build and funny to see!
courtesy photo by Lee Olson
Tomato Extravaganza 2010
Master gardener 8-18-2010
Tomato Heads are fun to build and funny to see! courtesy photo by Lee Olson Tomato Extravaganza 2010 Master gardener 8-18-2010

Nothing symbolizes summer like the sight, smell and flavor of delicious, home-grown tomatoes! Even many non-gardeners find space for a tomato plant or two to enhance their summer dining. For enthusiastic gardeners, the quest for the perfect garden tomato can be almost an obsession, especially with the large variety of interesting heirlooms available these days.

Every summer, the Master Gardeners present a community festival dedicated to all things tomato -- the Tomato Extravaganza, an edible festival. This year, our fourth annual event, we are especially excited because we will be celebrating this fabulous fruit in our brand new demonstration garden, the Garden of the Seven Sisters! It will be the August offering of our popular Advice to Grow by Workshop series.

One of the highlights of this event each year is the opportunity to taste and compare numerous varieties of heirloom tomatoes, finding new favorites to try in the garden next year. And, if you think all basil tastes the same, drop by to try the wide variety of basils available to sample.

We will have food for your minds as well -- gardening mini-seminars presented by Master Gardeners and the California Rare Fruit Growers, educational booths, and demonstrations by local chefs. We will teach you how to save seeds from favorite tomatoes for planting next year, how to process and store food, and how to use herbs in the garden. Children (young and old) will learn how to make Tomato Heads and have a chance to make some of their own. There will be a local plein air artist present to capture the colorful event on canvas.

Please bring the whole family and join us from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Garden of the Seven Sisters, 2156 Sierra Way, in SLO. For questions, contact the Master Gardeners helpline-(805)781-5939.

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