Franklin Tomato Festival will honor the humble vegetable — or is it a fruit?


Franklin Tomato Festival will honor the humble vegetable — or is it a fruit?

Photo courtesy of Franklin Farmers Market

By JOHN McBRYDE

For the record, Cindy Delvin considers the tomato a vegetable.

She said there are those on both sides of the age-old question of whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, but she leans toward the latter.

“It’s debatable,” said Delvin, who started Delvin Farms in College Grove 47 years ago with her husband, Hank Delvin Sr. “I consider it to be a vegetable, but I guess it’s according to who you’re talking to whether it’s a fruit or a vegetable.

“It’s so nutritious and it doesn’t contain a lot of sugar, and tomatoes are just really good for your diet. They can go in your salad and so many dishes can be made with a tomato. In my opinion, it’s a vegetable.”

Regardless of where your thoughts might lie on the mater, er, matter, there will be plenty of the delicious red orbs at the ninth annual Franklin Tomato Festival from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Franklin Farmers Market. Delvin Farms and many other vendors will be on hand selling tomatoes of all varieties as well as other produce and products.

“The farmers market summer season is in full swing now that the ‘queen’ of the farm has made her way to the market,” Amy Tavalin, director of the Franklin Farmers Market, said in a press release. “Everyone waits for the perfect homegrown tomato and that wait is finally over.

“We are honored to have the largest selection of farmers in Middle Tennessee in one location, and proud to be a producers-only market. You won’t find a better tasting homegrown tomato than right here in Franklin, grown by the farmers who are here.”

Delvin Farms has been a part of the annual festival since it began.

“The strawberry festival (held at the Franklin Farmers Market in May each year), of course, is one of the most popular, but strawberries are iffy. Tomatoes are pretty sure. By this time, the tomatoes are already in full steam. In the spring, the weather is so iffy that you can’t depend on strawberries being there, just like it was this year. But tomatoes are pretty dependable and after July 4th, you’re pretty sure of having enough tomatoes to have a very nice festival.”

The festival will include a tomato-tasting contest with 14 participating farms in the categories of heirloom or standard tomatoes. The contest will be a blind-taste test judged by the customers attending the market between 8-10:30 a.m. Winners of the contest will be announced at 11 a.m.

There will also be free children’s activities that include a bouncy house, tomato storytelling by Magda the Story Spider, free face painting, kids games and a trampoline.

The 17-year-old Franklin Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. behind the Factory in Franklin.

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