Homegrown Alabama Farmers Market Hosts Bama Loves Tomatoes Festival, Salsa Competition
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Homegrown Alabama, The University of Alabama student-led farmers market, invites the community to the Bama Loves Tomatoes Festival on Thursday, July 5, from 3-6 p.m. on the lawn of Canterbury Episcopal Church.
Homegrown Alabama will also welcome entries for a salsa competition to be held in conjunction with the festival this Thursday.
To participate, entrants must bring one quart of homemade salsa to the Homegrown Alabama information tent between 2-3:30 p.m. There is no entry fee and late entries cannot be accepted.
Each quart entered must be labeled mild, medium or hot and be accompanied by a written recipe that includes the participant’s name, email address, phone number, the name of the recipe and complete instructions.
Salsas do not have to be tomato-based but must be made from scratch. Participants are encouraged to purchase ingredients ahead of time from Homegrown Alabama or other Tuscaloosa farmers markets.
At the opening of the market, Rishon Hanners will lead a chef demonstration that highlights the use of tomatoes at the season’s peak. Free recipe cards will be available. Special BLT festival posters designed by Mary McManus will be for sale at the market’s information tent, along with other limited edition posters designed and letterpress printed by local artists, Homegrown Alabama 2012 T-shirts and reusable tote bags. For children, a tomato-themed take-home children’s craft and face painting will be available free of charge.
Beginning at 3:45 p.m., a panel of local judges will begin sampling and judging each salsa entry on taste, freshness, texture and consistency. The public is also invited to sample and judge the entries while supplies last as part of a free taste test beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Prizes, including T-shirts and posters, will be awarded as determined by the judges and by the public testers. Winners will be announced at 5:30 pm. Participants’ recipes may be used in future Homegrown Alabama publications.
Some 25 vendors attend the market weekly throughout the season to sell fruits, vegetables, baked goods, beef, pork, cut flowers, coffee and tea, eggs, homemade herbal teas, arts and crafts, soap and canned goods.
In the 2012 market season, there will be designated parking available for all market customers, craft vendors present every third Thursday and locally grown, all natural, grass-fed pork available for purchase.
Homegrown Alabama accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, formerly known as food stamps. They match $10 spent using SNAP with an additional $5 in tokens as part of an ongoing incentive program. On specific market dates, Homegrown will match up to $25 for customers using SNAP/EBT at the market. In addition to the festivities, this week is also one of 11 double-up SNAP weeks.
For more information on the SNAP/EBT incentive program, including how to donate, please call 205/210-9621 or visit www.homegrownalabama.org/support.
Vendors at this year’s market include:
Snow’s Bend Farm
Miss Emily’s Tomatoes
B & S Farms
Druid City Garden Project
AA Farm Creamery
Beef and Pork
Oak Hill Angus
Cheeky Maiden Soap Company
The Urban Herbwife
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.