These heirloom tomatoes are just some of the many varieties celebrated at the Capay Tomato Festival, planned July 9 this year. Courtesy photo

These heirloom tomatoes are just some of the many varieties celebrated at the Capay Tomato Festival, planned July 9 this year. Courtesy photo

Agriculture + Environment

Festival celebrates the tomato, in all its summer glory

By June 6, 2011

Farm Fresh to You and Capay Organic invite the public to Capay Tomato, the farm’s fourth annual festival celebrating organic heirloom and cherry tomatoes, from 3:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 9.

The farm is at 23800 Highway 16 in Capay.

The festival features activities for all ages, including tomato tastings, farm tours and live music throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Attendees are invited to camp overnight in the farm orchards. Event proceeds benefit the Kathleen Barsotti Non-Profit for Sustainable Agriculture.

The nonprofit group gives an annual scholarship to a high school senior who plans to pursue a field related to sustainable agriculture. The group also donates school supplies to farmworker families in the Capay Valley.

“This annual event brings tomato fans together to taste the best of our summer crops, including heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes,” said Noah Barnes, the company’s CEO, in a news release. “We are happy to open our farm for the day (and night) so people can connect to the land where their food is grown.”

Tomato tasting

Visitors may taste the following tomato varieties: heirlooms including brandywine, green zebra, Cherokee purple, vintage wine and marvel; cherry tomatoes such as chiquita, golden nugget, sungold and sweet 100; and large slicer tomatoes like striped Roman and San Marzano.

The 2010 tasting winner was the Cherokee purple, with the striped Roman taking the 2009 crown.

Food and drink

In addition to tasting all of the farm’s tomato varieties, tacos and tri-tip sandwiches made with farm produce will be sold. Capay Valley Vineyards will offer a wine tasting and sell its wines by the glass and bottle. Local beer from Sudwerk in Davis also will be sold.

Guests also are encouraged to bring their own picnics, and the event will feature the “Best Capay Picnic Contest.” Farm staff will roam the event, scouting for the best-looking picnic. The picnic contest winner will receive three complimentary Farm Fresh to You deliveries.

Live music

The event’s live music lineup includes the following bands:

* Oak Grove — A Family Bluegrass Band at 4 p.m.: Featuring the Schwartz family from Walnut Creek — parents Bob and Gail on guitar and upright bass, teenage phenoms Nate (16) and Max (13) on mandolin and banjo, and little sister Tessa (7) on fiddle. The whole family shares vocal duties, producing classic bluegrass harmonies, and Nate and Max positively sizzle on their instruments. Tessa delights audiences with her fancy (and often playful) fiddling, heartfelt singing and stage antics.

For more information, visit http://www.oakgrovebluegrass.com.

* The West Nile Ramblers at 6:30 p.m.: With a combination of country/western swing, bluegrass, jazz and original tunes, the West Nile Ramblers of Yolo County will get eventgoers dancing and singing along to an energetic and eclectic western sound.

For more information, visit http://www.myspace.com/thewestnileramblers.

* Old Man Markley (headliner) at 9 p.m.: This eight-piece amalgamation of bluegrass and punk has shared the bill with acts such as Bad Religion, Flogging Molly, NOFX and The Devil Makes Three.

“With captivating, three-part harmonies, nimble instrumentation and an energetic, raucous performance, this band is set to rock our event with fiddle, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, guitar, washboard, drums, autoharp and a homemade, washtub bass,” organizers said.

For more information, go to http://www.oldmanmarkley.com/Home.html.

Ticket information

Tickets are on sale now through Tuesday, July 5, at $23 per person. Children ages 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets at the door will be $30 per person.

To purchase tickets, go to http://capaytomato.eventbrite.com. Guests also can order tickets and ask questions by calling (800) 796-6009.

To learn more about the festival, visit http://farmfreshtoyou.com.

Camping on the farm

Guests also can camp overnight at the farm in the peach, fig and mandarin orange orchards. Campsites can be reserved for $35 each. Campsites are each 15 feet wide and extend the length of the entire orchard row. There is a one-car limit per campsite. Campers may stay on the farm until 3 p.m. Sunday, July 10. RVs and campfires are not permitted.

About Farm Fresh to You

Farm Fresh to You was founded in 1992 by Kathleen Barsotti to bring organic produce from the farm to customers at home. Today, Farm Fresh to You is run by her sons, Noah, Thaddeus and Freeman.

Originally, Farm Fresh to You had just a few delivery routes, but the company now delivers to thousands of customers in Northern and Southern California. The company also farms in the Imperial Valley in Southern California. Farm Fresh to You also has a retail store in San Francisco’s Ferry Building.

About Capay Organic

Capay Organic distributes organic produce to wholesalers, restaurants, grocery stores and at farmers markets. Founded in 1976, the farm celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.

Special to The Enterprise

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