If you've made it through these steps thus far as a parent -- er, gardener -- you should be more than willing to prove yourself this Saturday, July 30, at the NatureSweet Best Homegrown Tomato Challenge. There, your little Tom A. Toe (he prefers this to Tom-Tom these days) will compete against others to determine which tomatoes -- and which grower -- are the best. This event promises to have all the fierce competition of Little League, but with actual money on the line -- a $5,000 "scholarship" for the first-place winner, to be exact. And all you have to do is bring three of your best homegrown tomatoes of the same variety to the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard) between 10 and 11 a.m., and wait until noon to hear how your offspring stands up to the tomatoes of others when judged on their sugar content, overall appearance and taste. You're already convinced that your Tommy Toes are the purtiest, sweetest, yummiest guys around, so you're not too worried (but those local celebrity judges better be if they don't agree with you). For more information on the contest or to pre-register, visit www.naturesweettomatoes.com or call 800-315-8209.
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