5 1/2 pails: 27 gallons Tomatoes


That’s what I got from the garden. I got a frost scare and went and pulled everything that was a significant size. It get risky this time of the year. It’s a hard gamble to leave the crops in the garden when the weather person is saying there’s a chance of loosing it all by the morning. You have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them. I folded, thinking that if the little tomatoes didn’t freeze, they could keep growing to a better size without the competition for nourishment.

pails-of-green-tomatoes

The harvest from my 50 plants

green-tomato-harvest

Harvest of green tomatoes

I brought 3 five-gallon pails to the patch, and I was only down half on the row. I’m so surprised at the volume. I had to go in search of more pails. The largest tomatoes hide at the bottom of the plant because of their weight. I packed them into the house. I usually spread them out of my living room floor, but I already had a big chunk of area taken up by spaghetti squash and zucchini that keep multiplying. One large spot is being used for drying a slug of beans for seed – too many in fact (I think I’ll keep and use some of them like dried beans or even can them?!?).

beefsteak-tomatoes-with-blossom-end-rot

Beefsteaks with the blossom end rot

After some deliberation I spread them out on the loft floor even though I had to pack them up the stairs…grunttt. I laid out cardboard under them (in case any spoil and weep). It made me feel happy and successful to see them safely in store after so much dedicated work – from collecting seeds last year, sewing them mid winter in my bay window, then planting, weeding,  and watering them to this proud point.

The plan now is to wait for them to ripen, and then preserve them a bit at a time. I have many recipes for ketchup, spaghetti sauces, barbecue sauces, salsa, antipasto, bruchetta, pickles, chili sauce, besides straight out canning them and more. When I’m done with them I’ll have enough for all our tomato needs for a year!

I hope I’m going to be up to dealing with it again. That’s a lot of tomatoes, but I’ve done it for about 6 years like this now. I grow mostly Roma because it’s better, thicker and fleshier for sauces. I also grow some Beefsteak, but they get ‘blossom end rot’ easily – their  mainly for eating fresh as they have more juice in them.

I put egg shells and bonemeal in the soil when I plant them every spring but it doesn’t seem to fix the ‘end rot’ problem. Does anyone have more ideas on that?

beautiful-shiny-roma-tomatoes

Beautiful, green, shiny, Romas

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8 Responses to “5 1/2 pails: 27 gallons Tomatoes”

  1. Naomi says:

    I had some interesting looking brown spots on my tomatoes. They were on the sides and top, so they weren’t blossom end rot. I think they look most like buckeye rot.
    Here are some links if you’d like for some interesting info:
    http://www.caes.uga.edu/publications/pubDetail.cfm?pk_id=7801

    http://www.extension.iastate.edu/publications/pm1266.pdf

    Oh, and my ‘interesting brown spots’ look a lot like yours, only on the sides and tops of my tomatoes. Ugh. It ruined a good 3/4 of my crop.

    • sherry says:

      I know it’s weather related. Mine are exposed and I should expect some loss. My loss is 20 percent this year. Only a certain size was affected so that represents a specific time period. Maybe I do have enough calcium.the BER is a results of fluctuating conditions…I’d forgot about that. Thanks. They don’t have too many recommendation s on how to put calcium in the soil! I put egg shells and bonemeal and milk powder.

  2. Naomi says:

    Tomato soup is one of my favourite things to make with my new tomatoes. Yum!
    I can’t wait for them to ripen now. :)

  3. Naomi says:

    Tomato Soup

    2 cups tomato juice
    2 slices of onion
    1 bay leaf
    1 teas salt
    1/4 teas pepper
    3 allspice berries
    Simmer 10 minutes, strain.
    Combine:
    2 tbsp butter
    2 tbsp flour
    2 cups milk
    Stir this all together.
    Simmer to thicken

    • sherry says:

      I approve. Next time I make soup I’ll check this out. So far I have about a dozen quarts of straight juice. I’d like to do up a batch and re-can it.

      • Naomi says:

        With the milk and flour in it, I think the acidity will change. You might have to pressure cook it.
        You could make the first part of the recipe and can it, then add the milk and flour when you are ready to make the soup. That’s probably how I would do it.

  4. Naomi says:

    Tomato puree will work in this as well. It doesn’t have to be just juice.

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