Canada: Greenhouse growers compete for perfect pepper, coolest cucumber and hottest tomato

On June 13-14, 2014 at the Leamington Fair, R.E.A.CH. International hosted its 8th annual Greenhouse Competitions including “The Hottest Tomato” , “The Perfect Pepper” and “The Coolest Cucumber” Competitions.

Greenhouse Industry growers, marketers and suppliers from as far away as British Columbia entered a record number of entries (144) into the competitions which celebrate Essex County as being the largest greenhouse industry in North America.

These unique competitions, presented in part this year by Red Sun Farms, happen in two stages. First, on Friday evening, expert judges from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Heinz, grocery store produce managers, chefs and many others judged the 144 entries with a specialized list of criteria. Second, throughout Friday and Saturday, the public voted for their favourite Tomato, Pepper and Cucumber for the “People’s Choice” awards. This year’s competition introduced a new award. The “Kids’ Choice” awards had our eager younger audience vote for their favourite Tomato, Pepper and Cucumber.

The Awards Ceremony, held on Saturday evening, awarded beautiful crystal trophies and bragging rights to all the best producers in North America. The overall best Tomato, Cucumber and Pepper winners also received a discounted greenhouse disinfection donated by Tech Mist. Special thanks to Red Sun Farms for their Farm level sponsorship of the event. The net proceeds from this event will be used for R.E.A.CH.’s main project in Uganda, Africa.

And the 2014 Winners in the Greenhouse Capital of North America are:

Perfect Pepper Competition:
  • Best Overall Pepper - Nature Fresh Farms – Orange Bell Pepper – Entry #13
  • People’s Choice - Mastronardi Produce /SUNSET® - Red Bell Pepper – Entry # 46
  • Kids’ Choice - Pure Hothouse Foods – Orange Bell Pepper – Entry #106
  • Best Red Bell Pepper - Amco Produce – Entry # 2
  • Best Yellow Bell Pepper - Red Sun Farms – Entry # 4
  • Best Orange Bell Pepper - Nature Fresh Farms – Entry #13
  • Best Specialty Bell Pepper - Mastronardi Produce /SUNSET® - “Chocolate Pepper” – Entry # 31
  • Best Specialty Mini Pepper - Orangeline Farms – “Zing! Orange” – Entry #102
  • Best Specialty Long Pepper - Mucci International / Mucci Pac –Entry # 12
  • Best Specialty Hot Pepper - Orangeline Farms – “Zing! Chili” – Entry # 71

Coolest Cucumber Competition:
  • Best Overall Cucumber - Pure Hothouse Foods – Mini Cucumber –Entry # 17
  • People’s Choice - Westmoreland/Topline Produce – Mini Cucumber – Entry # 75
  • Kids’ Choice - Westmoreland/Topline Produce – Mini Cucumber – Entry # 75
  • Best English Seedless - Mastronardi Produce /SUNSET® – Entry # 7
  • Best Mini Seedless - Pure Hothouse Foods –Entry # 17

Hottest Tomato Competition:
  • Best Overall Tomato - Mastronardi Produce /SUNSET® - “Zima” Specialty – Entry # 100
  • People’s Choice - Lakeside Produce – “Solle” Bite Size Orange – Entry # 24
  • Kids’ Choice - Double Diamond Acres – “Pink Mambo” Bite Size – Entry #59
  • Best Beefsteak Tomato - Mucci International / Mucci Pac – “Terreno” - Entry # 27
  • Best Roma Tomato - Mastronardi Produce /SUNSET® – “Romano” - Entry # 101
  • Best Cluster Tomato - Mucci International / Mucci Pac –Entry # 94
  • Best Cocktail Tomato - Mucci International / Mucci Pac - Entry # 107
  • Best Bite-Size Tomato - Del Fresco Produce - “Orange Bite Size”– Entry # 129
  • Best Specialty Tomato - Mastronardi Produce /SUNSET® - “Zima” – Entry # 100
The proceeds from last year’s competition raised enough money to sponsor over 50 children in Uganda, Africa. The sponsorships give the children food, school supplies, medicine and everything else they need to get an education and break the cycle of poverty.

R.E.A.CH. is a small charity run entirely by local volunteers. This small but mighty group has raised several thousands of dollars to build schools & clinics, drill water wells, and sponsor and care for impoverished children in Uganda, Africa. Their unique program guarantees that 100% of child-sponsorship dollars goes to help the children. “We do separate fundraisers, such as this one, to raise money for operating expenses. Since we’re all volunteers, our expenses are very low. Whatever we raise beyond those expenses also goes to our projects.

For more information about the competition, visit

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