It was a tomato lover’s dream. NightCrawler Gardens on Pleasantville Road hosted its 3rd Annual Terrific Tomato Tasting on August 18 as part of OSU Extension’s Backyard Gardener Series. More than 150 tomato lovers and growers turned out for the free tasting and gardening/canning tips from area extension agents. Participants could sample a beautiful array of 85 varieties of mostly heirloom tomatoes. Colors ranged from light pink to nearly black for some Russian varieties. Almost all the varieties were available from NightCrawler for planting this spring. Once again owners Jason and Sheri England counted votes for the People’s Choice Favorite Tomato. The winner in 2009 was Brandywine and Black Cherry was tops in 2010. This year a beautiful and sweet orange tomato – Amana Orange – was the favorite. Chef Alex of the Worthington Inn demonstrated how to make a simple and tasty salad with a watermelon and a variety of tomatoes. Plans are already underway for next year’s tasting. The Englands hope to add a Largest Tomato Contest, live music, and possibly a vintner from a local winery. Beacon photos by Charles Prince. 9p1.jpg