The novel coronavirus pandemic put a halt to the annual Tomato Taste day event, but that did not stop members from the Cherokee County Master Gardeners from bringing the taste of fresh tomatoes to the seniors of the Cherokee County Senior Services Center.

Members of the Master Gardeners met outside of the center on Univeter Road on Wednesday morning to collect tomatoes for the seniors. The Master Gardeners gathered the large collection of tomatoes, which were provided by other members of the gardeners’ group, placing a tomato in labeled paper lunch sacks for each senior. The tomatoes will be served alongside their regular Thursday “Fun Lunch” that the center provides.

Activities Coordinator for the Cherokee County Senior Services Center Tiffany Hendrix said that the “Fun Lunch” usually consists of either Chick-fil-A or Jersey Mike’s sandwiches. She added that Meals on Wheels will be running Thursday morning as well, but as a separate program.

Master Gardener Judy Lester said that the extra tomatoes that the Master Gardeners collected Wednesday will be going to Papa’s Pantry/Encompass Ministries in Woodstock.

The Tomato Taste day event that is normally held by the Master Gardeners at the senior center consists of taste testing of several variations of tomato and voting on their favorites, with the winner receiving a Golden Zucchini award. The center has continued to receive tomatoes from the Master Gardeners for over 20 years and although the event was canceled this year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Hendrix was still happy because the Master Gardeners once again visited the center.

“We are sad that we weren’t able to hold the Tomato Taste day event this year, but we are so happy that the Master Gardeners are still sharing their tomatoes with our seniors,” Hendrix said.

The Cherokee County Master Gardeners are a volunteer organization that works through the University of Georgia county extension service. It is a non-profit organization that educates and supports local gardeners by visiting and talking with schools, senior centers and gardening groups with the goal of helping to foster a greater love and interest in gardening.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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