Aug 29: Tomato & Garlic Festival at Phipps

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, in conjunction with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, presents the sixth annual Red, Ripe & Roasted: Tomato & Garlic Festival. The festival will include a farmers' market, garlic roasting, live chef demonstrations, tomato and garlic tastings and kids' activities. Chef Joe Colantuono will prepare parmesan and cracked black pepper couscous with roasted tomato oil and cornmeal-crusted fried heirloom tomatoes during a live cooking demo and tasting at noon. Cafe Phipps will vend both items all day on the front lawn, along with other food featuring tomatoes and garlic (Caprese wraps and salads with heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozarella; gazpacho, etc.)

Local celebrity Doug Oster, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Backyard Gardener" and co-host/producer of KDKA's The Organic Gardeners radio program, will be at the event signing copies of his new book, Tomatoes Garlic Basil and demonstrating how to prepare one of the recipes from his book.

Gardeners are encouraged to participate in a seed swap: Just bring a labeled packet of your open-pollinated seeds to exchange with another variety. To be considered for Phipps' tomato contest, guests should bring the ugliest, smallest and largest ripe tomatoes from their gardens for the chance to win a Phipps prize basket.

Visitors should bring a bag of fresh produce from home to donate to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to receive free admission to the festival and the Conservatory during festival hours (11 a.m. - 5 p.m.).

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