Seed Savers Exchange is hosting a free Tomato Tasting and Seed Saving Workshop Saturday, Aug. 31 from 1 - 4 p.m., offering visitors the opportunity to sample a wide variety of heirloom tomatoes and vegetables and to vote on their favorite tomato.

Last year, Italian Heirloom was nominated as our first-place winner.

The event will take place at the Lillian Goldman Visitors Center.

A large number of tomato varieties in all colors and sizes will be available, including yellow cherry tomatoes, pink beefsteaks, striped stuffing tomatoes, red grape tomatoes and whatever is ripe. In addition to the tomatoes, attendees will be able to try a diversity of heirloom cucumbers, beans, eggplants, peppers, carrots, and rare brassicas.

The Oneota Food Co-op in Decorah is sponsoring this year's salsa contest. Limited to 25 entrants, applications are available at the Co-op, by calling 563-382-4666, and online at www.oneotacoop.com. The registration deadline is Tuesday, Aug. 27.

There will be three tomato seed saving workshops beginning at noon (and again at 1 and 3 p.m.) featuring Seed Savers Exchange staff, with lectures on seed stories at 12:30 and 2 p.m.

Visitors will be able to tour Seed Savers Exchange's gardens throughout the day. Guided hayride tours begin at noon and are scheduled for every 45 minutes. Lunch from Driftless Catering will be available for purchase from noon to 3 p.m.

"This family event gives people the opportunity to experience the wide diversity of tomatoes available, and learn how to improve their own gardening experience," said Diane Ott Whealy, co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange.

The event will also include special activities planned for kids.

All events are free to the public. For more information, visit seedsavers.org