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Celebrity Gary Ibsen at the Carmel Tomato Fest 2007 -Part 1

shantihhh's picture

In this video Gary Ibsen and his lovely wife Dagma discuss tomatoes and the TomatoFest with long time friends Steve and Mary-Anne Durkee of iFood.TV.

Gary Ibsen is the founder of TomatoFest®. Many gardeners call him "The TomatoMan". If you love tomatoes, and desire that garden fresh tomato taste, then you can learn a lot from this man.

He says: Over 30 years ago, a Portuguese farmer, who lived down the road, offered me an organically grown heirloom tomato, right from his garden. The pleasurable experience I had, as I bit into that sweet, ripe heirloom tomato, charted my heirloom tomato gardening journey!

I decided to expand my garden to include a variety of these heirloom tomatoes, because I wasn't likely to find them anywhere else. And, so began my magical journey of exploring the wonders of heirloom tomatoes!

What is an HEIRLOOM tomato? And why are they BETTER?

Over the following years, I collected seeds of the heirloom tomatoes that have been most revered for their outstanding flavor and favorite and rare tomato seed varieties from small family farms and growers, from around the world, in most growing regions. Through years of growing these heirloom tomato varieties, I've selected for you, my favorite heirloom tomato varieties based upon flavor, fruit abundance and adaptability. We grow our tomatoes on certified organic land (rich river-bed, sandy loam soil) and fertilize our plants with an abundant selection of organic minerals. We also water our plants with our own specially formulated organic compost tea.

My wife, Dagma, and I grow and harvest all our own seeds to insure you only the BEST quality. You benefit from the meticulous selection practice we insist upon for our TomatoFest® seeds!

Unlike many other tomato seed suppliers, who may source their seed from independent contractors where quality is difficult to maintain, our family grows and harvests our own Certified Organic heirloom tomato seeds by hand, to ensure you the finest quality heirloom tomato seeds.

I maintain detailed notes about all plant and fruit growth characteristics and keep tasting notes from the field. (Yes, I taste tomatoes from every plant to insure it passes my tomato taste requirements.) I personally photograph all the tomatoes we grow, and research each variety's history, just so you will have the most complete information available about each heirloom tomato variety.

Our seeds are extracted from selected fruit by hand, and prepared through a natural fermentation process. Given good germination and growing conditions, TomatoFest® organic heirloom tomato seeds will produce excellent, delicious fruit for you. At harvest time they will provide you the opportunity to share the abundant pleasures of extraordinarily flavorful heirloom tomatoes with others! Take a look at some of our customer testimonials about our seeds.

We GUARANTEE our seeds!
If you are not completely satisfied with our seeds, please advise us for an immediate replacement.

I’ve been passionately growing heirloom tomatoes for more than 40 years, to recapture the wonderful tomato flavors that had been lost with the commercial distribution of thick-skinned, tasteless, ‘tennis ball’ tomatoes.

Since the 1980’s, I’ve been sharing my homegrown organic heirloom tomatoes with old and new friends, around Central California. It seemed that everywhere I traveled, I had heirloom tomatoes to share…with local shopkeepers, bank tellers, post office clerks, grocery store clerks…there was no one who wasn’t worth a friendly greeting and the gift of a prized homegrown tomato in season. I also started tomato gardening presentations for grade schools, and held workshops and talks for garden clubs and universities.

TomatoFest® heirloom tomatoes are preferred as the "best tasting" tomatoes by the many restaurants and chefs that we grow for. Our organically grown heirloom tomatoes are not only bursting with flavor, they are also loaded with vital nutritional benefits, which we attribute to sunshine, good seed stock, and our practice of sustainable agriculture with management of our soil fertility and plant management. Unlike many growers, we harvest our heirloom tomatoes vine-ripe to ensure you the best flavors.

In 1990 I founded Gary Ibsen’s Carmel TomatoFest® in Carmel, California, to celebrate heirloom tomatoes with other gardeners, chefs, and the community-at-large, and to raise funds for children’s charities. The experience of Gary Ibsen’s Carmel TomatoFest®, has reached as many as 11 million households per year with news about heirloom tomatoes, through national television, radio, magazines, newspapers and the internet. This much media coverage about heirloom tomatoes over the years has helped support the current interest and demand for heirloom tomatoes.

I learned much from many other tomato experts and long-time tomato gardeners, like your. Most have become good gardening friends over the years, and over long distances. In 1994, I created the TomatoFest® web site as "The ultimate resource for heirloom tomato seeds" with information and photos about heirloom tomatoes and open pollinated tomatoes, with your interests and pleasure in mind.

Also Known as: 
Celebrity Gary Ibsen at The Tomato Fest Part 1
In this video Gary Ibsen and his lovely wife Dagma discuss tomatoes and the TomatoFest with long time friends Steve and Mary-Anne Durkee of iFood.TV.

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CookingMyWay's picture
Awesome video! Amazing how much the event has grown and what all he does for the community... Good to see you in front of the camera... :) Nikko
shantihhh's picture
Thanks Nikko! When it seems not to detract from food or chefs I get in front of the camera. LOL For every video (23 of them) I was off camera, actually beside the camera prompting the chefs with questions. Having them look at me and responding seems more natural then having them turned sideways talking to me if I was on camera, and I like when they look slightly off camera not straight on into the lense. They also are more comfortable looking at someone (moi) talking in place of the lense which can resul in the deer in the headlights look. Just more natural As time goes on I'll do a Thai series and you'll see enough of me, but I'll have the camera focused on the ingredients and cooking as that is what folks want to see and learn from not my face. LOL Now to buy a decent new video camera. I have a fabulous Nikon D80 but that is for stills and you have seen a few of those here on iFood.TV BTW these videos for TomatoFest are in high res and can be taken to full screen with no graininess. VBG Always looking towards the future.
LizzieMarieCuisine's picture
Wonderful video! Nice to *see* you too! Curious to know, if a tomato seed indigenous to, let's say India, is grown in US, is the integrity of the tomato the same (taste, texture, color, etc.)? Warmly, Lizzie Marie Cuisine feeding body & soul
shantihhh's picture
Great question. The same varity of tomato grown just across the street from each other will often taste differently. It is all about terrior! However, generally speaking the characteristics will be the same. A Brandywine will taste great, but the best strain is Sudduth strain and there are many Brandywine strains. Confused yet? Want to learn about tomatoes? -Go to my site, read in the files which has a huge amount of information on varieties, growing, seed starting, well everything, oh and recipes from members. World famous tomato experts are members like D. Carolyn Male, author of 100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden, Gary Ibsen also an author of The Great Tomato Book and founder of the Tomato Fest, Reinhardt Kraft of Germany, and on and on experts and lovers of tomatoes from around the world. We have a huge Seed Bank that is free. I set this group up to perpetuate the heirlooms and keep them alive for generations to enjoy. Each heirloom tomato has it's own story and is a part of history. The Tomato Fest was not just another story for me to over, but a passion. My grandparents on both sides were farmers in the Ohio Valley and yes grew heirloom tomatoes. We have always had a garden and taught our children to garden and they in turn are teaching their children. Mary-Anne (Shanti)
Ginny69's picture
The tomatoes look like they are rich in flavor and so colorful too
Don Brown's picture
I ordered tomato seeds from here and tamatoes seem to rotten on the bottom while on the vine. Can you tell me what is going on here?? Don Brown
shantihhh's picture
TomatoFest seeds are excellent quality. The blossom end rot is fairly ommon and usually due to lack of calcium. The lack of calcium is usually caused by over watering! Tomatoes really only need deep watering every 7-10 days once established. This develops strong deep roots! Pick off the rotten tomatoes, and the next ones should be great-just don't water so much or so irregularily. :-) For info on growing simply the best tomatoes refer to my site-info folders in the files: We even have a free Seed Bank!
Celebrity Gary Ibsen At The Carmel Tomato Fest 2007 -Part 1 Video, Celebrity Gary Ibsen At The Tomato Fest Part 1