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Tomato Day features free sandwiches, heirloom expert, kids' fun

As the crop reaches peak season in Western North Carolina, the Hendersonville Farmers Market will celebrate the humble tomato with a special event.

Shoppers are invited to enjoy the fun-filled Tomato Day from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at the market along Maple Street in the Historic Seventh Avenue District. In addition to a plethora of locally produced goods from seasonal vendors, the market will feature:

  • Free Tomato Sammies: Half-sized tomato sandwiches will be offered free of charge while supplies last, using only the classic ingredients of bread, mayonnaise and fresh Henderson County tomatoes.
  • Kids’ Corner: Arts Council Tomato Craft & Kid Yoga. The Arts Council of Henderson County will lead a take-home craft inspired by tomatoes. Additionally, Yoga and Massage will be leading free 20-minute Kid Yoga sessions at 10 and 10:30am for ages 3-10, mats provided.
  • Tomato Beauty Pageant: Vote for your favorite tomato in the market’s third annual Tomato Beauty Pageant.
  • Tommy Tomato Mascot: Can you spot Tommy Tomato, the local tomato mascot? This cheery, human-sized tomato will be happily strolling the market, dancing along to the live music, and posing for photos with shoppers.
  • Heirloom Tastings and Tomato Talks with Craig LeHoullier, NC Tomato Man: Craig LeHoullier, who has 105 tomato varieties growing in the backyard of his Hendersonville home, is not just any tomato gardener. An advisor for the Seed Savers Exchange, he was credited for naming the Cherokee Purple variety in 1990. LeHoullier authored the award-winning book Epic Tomatoes (which he will be signing and selling at the market) and was once featured on the PBS show “Growing a Greener World.” LeHoullier will be leading Tomato Talks at his booth at the top of each hour during the market. He will also be offering tastings of several of his heirloom tomatoes.

Approximately 40 vendors will be at the market on Tomato Day with an expansive selection of tomatoes including slicing varieties, paste varieties, and even experimental varieties varying in color, taste, and size. Other products at the market range from locally grown produce and meat to fresh coffee, baked goods, cut flowers, plants and artisan crafts.

Shoppers can enjoy live music from local bluegrass groups Hightop Mountain Harmony, who will play at the Depot, and the Barn Spiders, who will play at the Jam Tent.

Special thanks to Tomato Day Sponsor Charlotte Sheppard of Keller Williams Mountain Partners and the 2022 Hendersonville Farmers Market Presenting Sponsor Pardee UNC Health Care. Additional season sponsors include Underground Baking Co., Wag! A Unique Pet Boutique, Duke Energy, Hendersonville Community Co-op, Carolina Farm Credit and Optimum.