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Tomatopalooza™ event information and discussion forum. Held annually in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area.

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Old April 14, 2013   #16
livinonfaith's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina
Posts: 1,332

I agree with the free aspect of the event, Robbie. I think that charging a small fee wouldn't be a bad thing. (Maybe $5 to $10) Enough to cover the basics, like plates, ice, transportation, maybe even extra tomatoes from the farmers market. (I don't know how much is usually provided.)

I also don't think anyone would object to some compensation for the people who bring large amounts of tomatoes, like Craig and Lee. It might also cover a hired hand or two, so that the organizers wouldn't be so overwhelmed. And maybe some beverages, like water lemonade or tea.

The idea of bringing tomatoes to offset ticket price seems good as well. Maybe that would spur people to take a little time and raid their gardens before they come. I might suggest giving them more off than $1 a pound, though. Maybe, anyone who brings at least two pounds of homegrown tomatoes gets in free?

That way, the event stays more true to the original goal of getting together and sharing our bounty, yet people who don't have tomatoes to share can still be involved and contribute.

I don't think it needs to be a dinner, though. I get the feeling that the participants come specifically to taste a wide variety of tomatoes. And almost as important, they come to meet and mingle with other people who like to do the same and who enjoy growing tomatoes. Why make it more complicated?

It seems like if a place to do that in an inviting and comfortable manner is provided, they will come!
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Old April 14, 2013   #17
Tomatopalooza™ Moderator
Lee's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NC-Zone 7
Posts: 2,161

Just to be clear, this is not, and has not ever been about finances.
For most years we've been sufficiently compensated to cover the expenses that I or others have had to incur.
People have been quite generous on that front.

This is about people committing to the event and bringing tomatoes
to the event.
One year I had folks "pre-register" for the event. They had to tell me
how many were coming and if they were planning to bring tomatoes.
For that event, I expected 150+ people with maybe 25 bringing tomatoes.
Maybe 110 showed up with about 10~15 bringing tomatoes. If one
unexpected individual hadn't come with about 40% of the total tomatoes, we would have had very few for folks to taste.

Also, noet that the majority of folks that attend are not members here.
They are mostly customers of Craig's tomato seedlings or others who've
found out about the event from local magazines, etc....
Which is why you haven't heard very many speak out about it on this site.

While nothing is for certain, this year's event (if held) will not be as
we've held them before.

Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is knowing not to put one in a fruit salad.

Cuostralee - The best thing on sliced bread.
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