Greenhouse Canada

‘Hottest,’ ‘Coolest’ and ‘Perfect’ produce awards

June 24, 2015  By Dave Harrison

Back row (l to r): Dani Sweet (Mastronardi Produce / Sunset), Caitlyne Johns (Double Diamond Farms), Kristin Adams (Red Sun Farms), Ashley Aveiro (Mucci International/Mucci Pac); front row: Matt Quiring (Nature Fresh Farms) and Jordan Kniaziew (Orangeline Farms). REACH INTERNATIONAL

June 24, 2015, Leamington, Ont. – The Leamington Fair and REACH International hosted its ninth annual greenhouse competitions including “The Hottest Tomato,” “The Perfect Pepper,” and “The Coolest Cucumber” competitions.

Growers and marketers entered a record number 165 entries into the competitions that celebrate Essex County as being home to the largest concentration of vegetable greenhouses in North America.

These unique competitions, presented in part for a second year by Red Sun Farms, happen in two stages.


• An expert judges from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), grocery store produce managers, chefs and many others first judge the 165 entries with a specialized list of criteria.

• Next, the public votes for their favourite tomato, pepper and cucumber for the “People’s Choice” awards.

“The “Kids’ Choice” awards had our eager younger audience vote for their favourite tomato, pepper and cucumber as well,” said REACH president Art Barron.

Award winners included:

Mastronardi Produce / Sunset — People’s Choice Cucumber; Beefsteak, Cocktail, Specialty, Kid’s Choice, People’s Choice and Overall Best in the tomato category; and Specialty Bell, Specialty Long, Kids’ Choice, People’s Choice, and Overall Best in the pepper category.

Pure Hothouse Foods — Mini, Kids’ Choice and Overall Best in the cucumber category.

Del Fresco Produce — Cluster TOV and Bite Size in the tomato category.

Mucci International — Roma in the tomato category, and Red Bell in the pepper category.

Double Diamond — English Cucumbers.

Nature Fresh Farms — Yellow Bell Pepper.

Red Sun Farms — Orange Bell Pepper.

Orangeline Farms — Specialty Mini Peppers.

Westmoreland / Topline Produce — Specialty Hot Pepper.

“Special thanks to Red Sun Farms for their Farm level sponsorship of the event,” said Barron. “The net proceeds from this event will be used for REACH’s main project in Uganda.”


REACH is a small charity run entirely by local volunteers. This small but mighty group has raised several thousands of dollars to build schools and clinics, create clean water sources, and sponsor and care for impoverished children in Uganda.

Their unique program guarantees that 100 per cent of child-sponsorship dollars goes to help the children. Separate fundraisers, such as this one, raise money for operating expenses.

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