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by Brian Clarey

The peaches are dropping here in the North Carolina Piedmont, and I strongly suggest you get your fill before they’re gone. And be reminded that tomatoes are next. Harper’s Restaurant in Greensboro knows this, and has created Tomato Fest, running right now, with a menu that includes al manner of tomato dishes.

And the NC A&T University farm will hold a tomato cooking contest on July 23, but you must enter by July 13. Categories are savory, sweet and green; the contest is not open to professional cooks; and you can enter by downloading a form at www.guilfordextension.com or calling 336.375.5876.

And just in time for tomato season, bacon prices are set to go thorough the roof. Blame the commodities futures guys.

In downtown Greensboro, Riva’s Trattoria has stopped serving lunch after just two weeks. Might as well blame that on the Wall Street guys too.

On Friday Greensboro’s Fresh Market holds a cooking demo featuring tropical grilled shrimp with curried yogurt sauce and a zesty lemon, fennel and feta salad at 4 p.m. Whole Foods Market in Winston-Salem holds a one-day sale on organic cherries. And it’s Peach Day at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market.

All weekend long Total Wine & More will be tasting French wines to celebrate Bastille Day.

Saturday is Berry Day at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, featuring blueberries and blackberries. And the Grove Winery holds an Italian Festival that will be sure to include some of their famous Italian reds and their Sangiovese Marinara Sauce. Buy a ticket at the website, www.grovewinery.com.

On Tuesday, Table 16 holds a wine dinner based on Italian wines and cuisine. Make a reservation at 336.279.8525.

Got room for one more? Ad Age magazine reports that Americans consume 44.7 gallons per person per year. Soda is the most consumed beverage in the nation — more than bottled water (28.3 galoons), more than beer (20.8 gallons), more than milk (20.4 gallons) and more than coffee (18.5 gallons). Seriously, people, this is why you’re fat.

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