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Second Annual Sacratomato Week Begins

Courtesy of Sacratomato Festival

Courtesy of Sacratomato Festival

Monday marks the start of the second annual weeklong celebration of tomatoes in Sacramento, called Sacratomato Week.

"It's meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek,” says Emily Baime Michaels with the Midtown Business Association who spoke on Insight with Beth Ruyak. “We're an agricultural region. Let's embrace it. We have incredible agriculture and we have great tomatoes and we're eating well and we're going to celebrate that."

Several restaurants and bars have created tomato-based drinks and entrees.

But this hasn't been an easy year for the region's tomato growers, as they deal with a fourth year of drought. Mike Montna is president of the California Tomato Grower's Association based in Sacramento.

"Pretty much every grower we have has some fallow ground,” says Montna. "And they're forced to choose what crops they're going to grow based on the return to cover the overhead. So it's been tough. We need to get some rain soon."

Montna says the best time for that to happen would be after harvest, at the end of October.

He said tomatoes are big in Sacramento for a couple of reasons. 

"We have good soils," says Montna. "The weather patterns historically are very good. They've been growing them here since the early 20s. Developed mechanical harvesting here in the 60s which kind of revolutionized what California was able to do."

This year's Sacratomato Week culminates Saturday with a festival at Sutter's Fort featuring live music and chef demonstrations.


Steve Milne

Morning Edition Anchor & Reporter

Steve is the voice of Capital Public Radio News as anchor of Morning Edition and Insight. He covers stories on a wide range of topics including: business, education, real estate, agriculture and music. Steve also produced stories for CapRadio.org.   Read Full Bio