I just made a small but wonderful batch of tomato sauce using a mix of romas and heirloom tomatoes that I bought at my favorite local produce market. It was delicious, but costly. Does anyone know of any produce markets in Chester County that sell second-quality tomatoes? Or, is that just something you ask about when you're there?
I think romas should be really cheap when buying in bulk, regardless of quality. They are available at the farmer's markets right now, so just go and ask for a bunch and you should be able to negotiate a discount.
You could also try a place like Produce Junction if there is one near you.
sometimes at farmer's markets you see them (they often sell out early) - or I have heard of making a deal with a farmer for an entire flat or whatever, if you are wanting to make a lot and freeze/can. Not TOO far from Chester County, the only farm stand I have seen that often has seconds is Highland Orchards in Wilmington. Tomatoes and apples, depending on season.