June 15, 2010

First Ripe Champion Tomato – 2010

The fourth annual ‘First Ripe Tomato in Champion Contest’ came to its conclusion on June 12th, 2010, when Emerson Rose Oglesby brought her Grandmother Karen Krider’s beautiful little Delicious tomato to Henson’s Store.  Contest rules require the winning tomato to have been grown in Champion and to be eaten by the judges.  The tomato was indeed judged to be ripe and it was  shared out among the various judges in attendance.  It was small but quite tasty.  This is the earliest winning date in the history of the contest and the list of prizes had not yet been announced.  For her efforts Ms. Krider will receive an antique fruit jar, two dozen canning jar flats, and six tickets (valued at $5.00) for the Skyline VFD Picnic Quilt.  She’s a Champion!

Two year old Emerson happened to be visiting with her Grammy just as the tomato reached its peak of perfection.  She and her brother, Eli, came with their folks down from Perry, MO to enjoy some time on the farm.  They both like the cows and like being out in the garden.  Champion has always been an excellent place for young people as well as Champion Tomatoes!

2010 First Tomato Winner


July 3, 2009

First Ripe Champion Tomato – 2009

        The First Ripe Tomato in Champion Contest has been won!  Larry Casey of Rt. 2 brought his beautiful bright red, baseball size tomato into Henson’s Store on Tuesday afternoon, June 30, and shared with Judges Betty Henson and Wilda Moses.  Casey did not know the name of the variety but says he generally grows Rutgers.  This was just a pretty plant that he had picked up over in Cabool early in the season.  The tomato had a nice firm heart and a rich tangy taste, sweet and juicy.  It was firm enough to cut nicely, but definitely perfectly ripe.  A little salt and the judges were transported to tomato heaven.

        For his trouble, Casey was awarded a Certificate of Champion Achievement, a $10.00 gift certificate from the Plant Place in Norwood, 6 tickets (valued at $5.00) for the quilt drawing to be held August 15, at the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department Picnic, two dozen canning jar lids (1 each regular and wide mouth) and an old fruit jar.  The fruit jar was made in 1966 in Canada.  It is a brand called “Crown” and it has a crown embossed on the side.  It has a glass lid with a zinc rim.  He was pleased with his loot and Champions can probably look for him to try for the prize next year as well.

        Casey has been gardening he said for 70 years, though he is just 73 years old.  He is a retired welder and pipe fitter who moved to Champion ten years ago.  He grows a big garden and is a great promoter of purple-hulled peas and had some seed to share.  He said that he had just returned from a trip to Houston, Texas where the Local Pipe Fitters Union, to which he had belonged for 50 years, had honored him for his achievements.  He said that he came back to find his garden overgrown with weeds and two big tomatoes hiding in them, just about ready to eat.  He and his friend Debbie Newland had finished off the first one before they brought the prizewinner down to Henson’s Store.

        Last year the prize was awarded on July 12th to Champion Louise Hutchison.  She and her daughter, Debbie Maynard, granddaughter Amy McGuire and great granddaughter, Hanna Rose McGuire happened into the store just as the judging was over.  Louise and Larry had a few minutes to visit about gardening.  She says that her garden has been suffering from the drought.  Larry complained about deer eating his sweet potatoes.  Louise said that she had heard that if a person cut up a bar of Irish Spring Soap and sprinkled it around that it was a good deterrent for the deer.  Larry thinks he will try it.  It is a Champion thing that gardeners are willing to share their seeds, information and tomatoes!


July 14, 2008

First Ripe Champion Tomato – 2008

2008 Winner and Champion,  Louise Hutchison About high noon on Saturday, July 12th, the call was put out that there was a Ripe Tomato in Champion! Locals rushed to the scene at Henson’s Store to find Louise and Wilburn Hutchison with two baseball sized tomatoes–bright red ripe ones! The tomatoes the variety Parks Whopper that are one of Louise’s favorites. One of them was divied up among the judges one of whom provided salt. It was agreed the tomato is Ripe!
Louise’s Grand Prize included a quart sized blue Ball fruit jar. It could be an antique. Additionally she received Six tickets (worth $5.00!) for the drawing for the Rose Star Quilt to be given away at the Skyline Picnic on August 9th. Finally, she received two dozen canning jar flats, a dozen each reglular and wide mouth. Last year the prize was awarded to Louise’s neighbor Donna Moskaly on June 28th. Everyone will agree that things are running a little late this year. Louise will be late in getting her Certificate of Achievement. She doesn’t really need it….she’s got Ripe Tomatoes!



July 2, 2007

First Ripe Champion Tomato – 2007

2007 Winner and Champion, Donna Moskaly

The 2007 First Ripe Tomato in Champion Contest Winner is Donna Moskaly!  She is shown here at Henson’s Store on Thursday, June 28, with her prize winning tomato and the Grand Prize Antique Fruit Jar.  Ms. Moskaly and her husband Joe moved to the Champion area last fall from Illinois and have made themselves at home here.   In addition to winning the Champion Tomato contest, Donna recently won Second Prize in the Ava Art Guild Show for Pen and Ink.  Donna and Joe have become active members of the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department and are welcome additions to the community.