Ugliest Tomato Honored!

October 7, 2012 | By | Comments (5)
Ugly tomato

Tomatoes don’t get much uglier than this! Congratulations, Judy! Photo by Judy Von Feldt.

Earlier this summer, Grumpy posed a challenge to his readers. Send him a photo of the ugliest tomato you grew this year and the ugliest of all will win a prize. Well, the winner has been chosen! And it’s uglier than the north end of a southbound baboon.

Congratulations to master gardener Judy Von Feldt for carefully nurturing such a horrific fruit. The author of a blog called Grandparentsplus2, Judy lives on small, three-generation farm in New Hampshire — proving once again that Grumpy’s fan base is indeed universal and quite possibly multiversal (ask your local theoretical physicist or experienced time traveler).

Judy’s ugly tomato is an heirloom ‘Brandywine.’ Most people consider this to be one of the finest tasting tomatoes of all, if you can summon the courage to eat it. Judy claims she did nothing special to uglify the tomato. “It was in a raised bed with new soil and compost with a soaker hose and black plastic used as mulch,” she says. “That same bed produced a little over 58 pounds of beautiful tomatoes.”

And one really, really disgusting looking one.

bonnie fertilizer

Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food. Photo by Bonnie.

For all of her time and effort in growing a tomato ugly enough to stop a clock, Judy wins a bottle of all-natural Bonnie Herb and Vegetable Plant Food 8-4-4. One 32-ounce jug makes 64 gallons of liquid plant food — more than enough to grow even more hideous tomatoes next year. Well done, Judy, well done.

As for the rest of you who grew really ugly tomatoes but didn’t bother to send Grumpy photos of them, hey — what’s your problem? Don’t YOU want to be known as the world’s ugliest tomato grower? Of course, you do! It’s a heckuva lot better than being known as the grower of the world’s ugliest cucumber.

Some Really Boring Contest Rules Grumpy Is Legally Forced to Print


1. HOW TO ENTER: This contest began at 8:00 A.M. EST on July 1, 2012 and ended 11:59 P.M. EST on October 5, 2012.  Limit one entry per person or email account. Entries become sole property of Sponsor and none will be acknowledged. By entering, Entrant warrants that his or her entry (1) is original and does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any third party, (2) has not been published in any medium or (3) has not won an award.

2. JUDGING:  All entries will be judged by editors, based on the following criteria: Originality (25%); Creativity (50%); and Appropriateness to contest theme (25%).  In the event of a tie, an additional “tie-breaker” judge will determine the Winner from among all such tied entries using the judging criteria above.  Incomplete and/or inaccurate entries and entries not complying with all rules are subject to disqualification. Decisions of judges are final and binding.  Winner will be notified by “email” on or about October 5, 2012 and prize shipped by December 31, 2012.

3. ELIGIBILITY:  Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 19 years or older at time of entry (“Entrant(s)”). Void where prohibited by law.  Employees of Sponsor and its promotional partners and their respective parents, affiliates and subsidiaries, participating advertising and promotion agencies (and members of their immediate family and/or those living in the same of household of each such employee) are not eligible.

4. PRIZES AND APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUE: Winner will receive 1 32-ounce container of Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food. Approximate Retail Value: $11.95.  All other expenses not specified herein are the responsibility of the Winner. ALL TAXES ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNER. The prize is awarded without warranty, express or implied, of any kind.

5. CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION: No transfer, assignment, or substitution of a prize permitted, except Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prize (or prize component) for an item of equal or greater value at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Nothing in these official contest rules shall obligate Sponsor to publish or otherwise use any entry submitted in connection with this Contest.  All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Entrants agree to be bound by the terms of these Official Rules and by the decisions of Sponsor, which are final and binding on all matters pertaining to this Contest.  By entering, Entrant represents that any essay, and other materials submitted as part of Entrant’s Contest entry are original and will not constitute defamation or an invasion of privacy or otherwise infringe upon the rights of any third party, and that the Entrant owns or has the rights to convey any and all right and title in such essay and other materials.  In addition, by entering, Entrant grants to Sponsor a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to edit, publish, promote, republish at any time in the future and otherwise use Entrant’s submitted essay, along with Entrant’s name, likeness, biographical information, and any other information provided by Entrant, in any and all media for possible editorial, promotional or advertising purposes, without further permission, notice or compensation (except where prohibited by law).  Potential Winner, as a condition of receiving any prize, also may be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability Release and where legally permissible a Publicity Release and confirmation of a license as set forth above within 7 days following the date of first attempted notification, certifying, among other things, the following: (a) entry does not defame or invade the privacy of any party; (b) entry does not infringe upon the rights of any third party; and (c) the essay and other materials submitted are original and have never been published and entry has never won an award.  Failure to comply with this deadline may result in forfeiture of the prize and selection of an alternate winner.  Return of any prize/prize notification as undeliverable may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner.  Acceptance of the prize constitutes permission for Sponsor and its agencies to use Winner’s name and/or likeness, biographical information, essay, other materials submitted for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation, unless prohibited by law.  By entering and/or accepting prize, Entrants and Winners agree to hold Sponsor and its promotional partners, its directors, officers, employees and assigns harmless for liability, damages or claims for injury or loss to any person or property relating to, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, participation in this Contest, the acceptance and/or subsequent use or misuse, or condition of any of the prizes awarded, or claims based on publicity rights, defamation, or invasion or privacy.  False or deceptive entries or acts will render the Entrant ineligible.  Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the immediate and unrestricted right to disqualify any entrant or prize winner, if either commits or has committed any act, or has been involved or becomes involved in any situation or occurrence which the Sponsor deems likely to subject the Sponsor, entrant or winner to ridicule, scandal or contempt or which reflects unfavorably upon the Sponsor in any way.  If such information is discovered by Sponsor after a winner has received notice of his prize and before the prize is awarded, Sponsor may rescind the prize in its entirety.  If a portion of his/her prize has already been awarded, Sponsor may withdraw the remainder of the prize that has been fulfilled.  Decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding in all matters related to this paragraph.  Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of the contest, or in the announcement of the prize.

6. INTERNET:  Sponsor is not responsible for lost or late entries nor for electronic transmission errors resulting in omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operations or transmission, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to or alterations of entry materials, or for technical, network, telephone equipment, electronic, computer, hardware or software malfunctions or limitations of any kind, or inaccurate transmissions of or failure to receive entry information by Sponsor or presenter on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any Web site or any combination thereof.  If for any reason the Internet portion of the program is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, the Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest.  Sponsor reserves the right to select winners from eligible entries received as of the termination date.  CAUTION: Any attempt by a contestant to deliberately damage any Web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the game is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such contestant to the fullest extent of the law.  If there is a dispute as to the identity of the Entrant, the prize will be awarded to the authorized account holder of the email address.  The “authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person to whom the email address is assigned.

7. GOVERNING LAW:  This Contest is governed by the internal laws of the state of New York without regard to principles of conflict of laws.  All cases and claims pertaining to this Contest must be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction in the City of New York, without recourse to class action suits.

8. SEVERABILITY:  If any provision of these Rules is found to be invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction or appointed arbitrator, such determination shall in no way affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision herein.

9. WINNER’S LIST:  For name of the Winner, check back to The Grumpy Gardener after October 5, 2012, available for a period of 30 days.

10. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this Contest is, P.O. Box 1748, Birmingham, AL 35201.


  1. Bonnie Plants

    Congrats to Judy and her ugly tomato. That is one UGLY tomato! But as we think of all veggie children, ALL of them are gorgeous to us. May your plant food bring you many more next season.

    October 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm
  2. Grumpy

    Not just ANYONE can grow such an ugly tomato!

    October 8, 2012 at 10:26 am
  3. Jennifer Burcke

    Thank you for featuring the very ugly tomato grown by my Mother at 1840 Farm! That tomato was terribly ugly outside, but incredibly delicious inside!

    October 8, 2012 at 8:36 am
  4. Joyce

    oh dear, that poor tomato! I am no gardener…just a follower of Judy’s blog and therefore very happy that she won something…anything! and Steve, you are hilarious!

    October 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm
  5. carolyn choi

    Wow, that tomato fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. In other words, that is ONE ugly tomato.

    October 7, 2012 at 8:22 am

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