Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Tomato paradise Saturday in Fairfield

tomato festvial preview 8_13_14

Suisun Valley farmer Steve Tenbrink sorts through heirloom tomatoes that were recently picked from one of the family's properties, Wednesday. Fairfield's upcoming Tomato Festival will once again feature the Tenbrink's tomatoes. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | August 15, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — The man whose farm supplies the Tomato Festival has been growing the fruit since 1982 and was introduced to agriculture by his brother, who ran cattle in Mendocino County.

“I loved the country life,” Steve Tenbrink recalled.

He grows tomatoes on his Suisun Valley farm that includes wine grapes, walnuts and four acres of fruit trees.

“It’s in my heart,” he said of agriculture. “I’ve always loved growing things.”

Tenbrink, 60, had in his truck this week tomatoes the size of softballs – some red, some golden, some a blend of both.

More traditional tomatoes will dominate the Tomato Festival – which takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday in downtown Fairfield – that includes nearly 100 varieties grown in Suisun Valley.

Margaret Manzo, executive director of the Fairfield Main Street Association, said Solano County’s ample water supplies mean the drought hasn’t deterred the event that she said brings about 25,000 visitors.

“It’s kind of tomato paradise,” she said.

Some are sweet, some are salty and some are fried green.

“The range of flavors is amazing,” Manzo said.

Months of planning go into the free event but it’s fine if visitors are unaware of all the work the festival requires, said the Main Street Association official.

“That’s a good thing,” Manzo said. “We want it to be seamless.”

Part of her job is to bring people downtown and the Tomato Festival is a perfect lure for visitors.

“It does exactly what it needs to do,” Manzo said.

Grower Tenbrink eats a tomato a day. To growers, tomatoes display a uniqueness that can go unnoticed by the uninitiated.

“Every plant does it a little differently,” said Tenbrink’s son Daryl, 29.

Tomato Alley is called the core of the festival with free samples of Suisun Valley heirloom tomatoes. A Salsa Recipe Contest will take place at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Webster Street Stage. Performances for the “Fairfield’s Got Talent” youth competition begin at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the same site.

The Tomato Costume Contest takes place Sunday with prizes in four categories: Mr. Tomato, Ms. Tomato, Tiny Tomato for children 13 and younger, and Tomato Face or Hat. The contest is from noon to 12:30 p.m. at the intersection of Jefferson and Texas streets.

Democrats and Republicans seem able to agree that the Tomato Festival is a fine event.

A press release from the office of Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, invites residents to the 23rd annual event where the state lawmaker’s staff will have a booth. Republican Alex Henthorn of Vacaville, who’s running against Frazier, will be at the booth of the Solano Country Republican Party.

“I love it,” Henthorn said of the event. “It’s grown a lot since its inception.”

“It really shows off Fairfield’s pride,” he said.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Tammi BowersAugust 15, 2014 - 9:00 am

    I love this time of year out here.I cant wait to taste all the tomatoes,cant get enough fried green tomatoes !

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • chrisAugust 15, 2014 - 11:53 am

    wish I could buy a tomato in the grocery store that tasted like a tomato should taste......the garbage that is sold is a disgrace and tastes nothing like the tomato I grew up eating

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MikeOAugust 15, 2014 - 5:11 pm

    There's nothing like an Indiana tomato, but I'm willing to see if our local grown can dethrone it.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. PracticalAugust 15, 2014 - 7:15 pm

    Tenbrink tomatoes are legendary.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Celebrate the magic of Christmas

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

 
Santas have busy week at schools

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
Safe streets task force work nets 3

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
 
Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California’s top utility regulator defends record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Russian sailors leaving France without warship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

European court rules obesity can be a disability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

.

Opinion

Another look at school bonds

By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11, 5 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

News of the day strikes a chord

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

 
Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

.

Sports

A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Raiders defense depleted by injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Dow industrials have their best day in three years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Lisa Dee McHughes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Travis Curt Price

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jennie Ponce Reyes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics