Seniors and members of the Cherokee County Master Gardeners ate several kinds of tomatoes, and tomato sandwiches, Wednesday morning to determine the top tomatoes at the gardeners’ annual contest at the Cherokee County Senior Center in Canton.

The contest returned to the senior center for the first time since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic. In lieu of a contest last year, the tomatoes Master Gardeners members grew were packed up and sent to the seniors as part of their Meals on Wheels food deliveries.

“We love it,” Lester said. “We missed the seniors last year, and we’re glad to be back.”

Similarly, Senior Services Activities Coordinator Sydney Caughman said the center and its seniors were happy to see the tomato contest return.

“Our seniors love it, having people from the community come in like this,” Caughman said. “It’s nice to be able to be together again. It’s so awesome.”

Tomatoes in Wednesday’s contest were grouped into the categories of yellow tomatoes, red cherry tomatoes and slicer (large enough to be cut for sandwiches) tomatoes.

Linda Freedman won in red cherry tomatoes, and was also declared the overall winner, taking home the Golden Zucchini trophy. Gerald Phillips was selected as the winning grower for yellow tomatoes, and Hope Sorrell took the top spot in the slicer category.

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