We're very lucky in Salt Lake. Or maybe just a little smarter. Many places–California (duh), Texas, Seattle–celebrate the tomato harvest by drinking beer, listening to rock and throwing tomatoes at each other.

Here, we just eat a lot of them. Whether you choose beer or wine, rock, bluegrass or reggae, doesn't matter. The point is, tomatoes are better celebrated by eating than throwing.

Wasatch Community Gardens leads the charge, of course, with their annual Tomato Days festival, a series of tomato-based events from August 17 through September 8. Plus, there are workshops coming up on growing and preserving tomatoes.

Here's the schedule:


Salsa Party (FREE!)

Music, kids' activities, dancing, chips and salsa from Rico's and TOMATOES!

Friday, August 17th 6 pm - 8 pm; Fairpark Garden- 1037 W. 300 N
orth

Tomato Sandwich Party (FREE!)

and Fall Plant Sale (you have to pay for the plants)

Live music, kids' activities, Eat Local Challenge kick-off, our 2nd annual Fall Plant Sale, Whole Foods samplings and TOMATOES! (plus, enter to win a free Salt Lake magazine subscription)

Heirloom tomato sandwiches on Crumb Brothers' bread smeared with pesto made from the basil and garlic grown in our Youth Program gardens. In 2011, 1,000+ attendees ate 500 pounds of heirloom organic tomatoes and 10 gallons of pesto made from garlic and basil grown by WCG's Youth Program.

Saturday, September 8th 11 am - 2 pm; 
Grateful Tomato Garden - 800 S. 600 East

Tomato Days Dine-Around

Local farm-to-table restaurants feature heirloom tomato dishes on their menus during Tomato Days (remember, August 17th through September 8th) A portion of the proceeds go to Wasatch Community Gardens! Participating restaurants include:
Faustina
; Les Madeleines; Meditrina; Caffe Niche
; Pago;
Sage's Café
; Tin Angel; Zy and Oasis Cafe

Oasis Cafe's Executive Chef Billy Sotelo has created a summer salad with heirlooms as the star. Available for lunch and dinner, it features a wide variety of ripe heirloom tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, saba, sea salt, arugula and fennel and sells for $13.
 
(Oasis Cafe is located at 151 South 500 East in downtown Salt Lake City. Reservations can be made by calling 801-322-0404.  Hours are Monday-Friday 7 -8 a.m. for coffee and pastries, then 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.. Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.)