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Green thumbs invited to compete at Gelorup ‘Great Tomato Comp’ on Sunday

Headshot of Shannon Verhagen
Shannon VerhagenSouth Western Times
Gelorup Markets Committee member Margaret Smith is looking forward to this weekend's tomato competition.
Camera IconGelorup Markets Committee member Margaret Smith is looking forward to this weekend's tomato competition. Credit: Shannon Verhagen

Standing about a metre tall, embellished with gold and a giant tomato on top, the Gelorup Community Management Committee’s Great Tomato Competition trophy is a sight to behold.

And on it is a spot for another gold plaque, etched with the name of this year’s winner who will be crowned on Sunday.

Starting off as a bit of a laugh between mates, it has now become an institution of 23 years.

Committee member Margaret Smith was one of the founders, taking out the top honours in 1998.

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Ten other growers have all risen to the top of the tomato-growing game since, with 92-year-old Eric Bashford claiming five of the past six titles.

Mrs Smith said it was a finicky business growing tomatoes, with the recent hot spell bound to have affected many a grower’s bounty.

“It depends on the flamin’ season,” she said.

And while the number of entrants and the quality of the fruit on Sunday is unknown, Mrs Smith said one thing was for sure — she won’t be winning.

“I ate two of them about a fortnight ago and I don’t know what’s happened, but the tomatoes haven’t come back on,” she said.

“So I won’t be reclaiming the title as I don’t have anything to put in.”

Anyone can enter their wares on the day and an expert judge will be on hand to name the victor.

As for what they will be looking for, Mrs Smith said it was all about “the firmness, the ripeness and the number of seeds”.

Those wanting to enter or watch on can do so from 10am at Gelorup Community Hall.

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