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We are having a very bad tomato year. Despite my best efforts to keep things watered, the heat and drought and deer are sucking the life out of my garden.

Congrats on your harvest!
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's a lot of tomatoes!
Why do you pick them so green? I always wait until they are more red than that.
Oh that's an easy question... We pick every so often and this is the first picking about 1/2 the 50 foot row. The green one are the ones that fell off the plant because of my big hands, get put in bucket along with the others. There are numerous recipes for green tomatoes. They won't go to waste.

We pick them turning because as you can see there's a fair number of them. The ones that are turning will ripen off the vines.

When my wife cans, she will pick out and can only the fully ripe ones. She canned up a double batch of mild garden salsa yesterday evening 😋

Make sense?

Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤🇺🇸
 

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Gotcha! Thanks for the explanation. My grandma didn't like green tomatoes and any green ones that fell off while she was picking got tossed into the pasture.

I know tomatoes continue to ripen after being picked but we never picked them green. There just wasn't enough space on the porch to let tomatoes set to ripen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My wife been working the table down. She makes the best garden salsa with all fresh from the garden veggies 😋. She's canned multiple cases so far, if she rushed making it, it wouldn't be as good.
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Getting closer to second picking for spaghetti sauce, my personal favorite 😋

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How does she make paste?...With a 6oz can only $0.45, I find boiling it down at home doesn't make sense-- and that's before the price of LP doubled this year.
Take a tour of an Indiana tomato farm, then follow the trucks to the Red Gold factory in Geneva and Elwood. Every tomato that grows and goes into her jars, passes only through her own hands. Red Gold's super fast processing lines allow, by neccesity, a certain percentage of greens, sours, blossom end rot, stems, grasshoppers, and so forth. (Not dissing Red Gold by any means, that's just how it is.)

Homesteading standards are multidimensional. (And she might just be a Proverbs 31 gal.)

geo
 

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But what do y'all do with all of that processed tomato stuff?

I have been eating tomato sandwiches every day, giving tomatoes to all our neighbors, and freezing about 2 gallons of peeled, cut up tomatoes.

And I made some tomato sauce for putting on crowder peas, but we couldn't consume that much tomato stuff in 10 years.

And my wife has fried green tomatoes several times.

I mostly grow cherry tomatoes for salads and big tomatoes for sandwiches and sauces. I set out about 12 plants this spring.

By the way, I'm getting ready to plant some fall tomatoes. Last year I picked ripe tomatoes until after Thanksgiving.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How does she make paste?...With a 6oz can only $0.45, I find boiling it down at home doesn't make sense-- and that's before the price of LP doubled this year.
There are several ways to make paste. But start with a paste tomato variety, that's meaty and without much water. We grow Amish Paste and another one just called Roma. She'll make paste in the oven in a high wall cookie sheets. She'll do this while she's baking something else in the oven. She's said the oven has 3 racks, might as well use them. So double duty oven, I reckon.

Have a search on the internet for "homemade tomato paste 3 ways". I think you might get some ideas.

Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤🇺🇸
 

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But what do y'all do with all of that processed tomato stuff?

I have been eating tomato sandwiches every day, giving tomatoes to all our neighbors, and freezing about 2 gallons of peeled, cut up tomatoes.

And I made some tomato sauce for putting on crowder peas, but we couldn't consume that much tomato stuff in 10 years.

And my wife has fried green tomatoes several times.

I mostly grow cherry tomatoes for salads and big tomatoes for sandwiches and sauces. I set out about 12 plants this spring.

By the way, I'm getting ready to plant some fall tomatoes. Last year I picked ripe tomatoes until after Thanksgiving.
I've frozen tomatoes by just cutting out the stem end and popping the whole tomato into the freezer in plastic bags. You can then peel off the skin as they reheat in the pan later. Eliminates one step and they taste and cook just as good.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Second harvest of Roma's and Amish Paste was not near as many as the first harvest. But we were able to put up 27 quarts of tomato puree. We like the puree because it's just boiled down tomato juice and salt. My wife uses it as base for other tomato based recipes.
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It's looking like we might get a third harvest before frost. But it will most likely be the smallest of the three.

Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤🇺🇸
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Picked more tomatoes for my Wife she is making ketchup, It's a multi day process. First she cooks paste tomatoes at 250 F in a 18 quart roaster oven for about 24 hours. 25 lbs is post trimming bad spots, she has ultra high quality control standards. I really like the smell of stewing tomatoes in the house 👍
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Despite the drought, we're having a reasonably decent tomato season. Really impressed with the San Marzano variety.

I love my tomatoes in a chopped salad of tomatoes, basil, red onion, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic vinaigrette (sans sugar). Mmmm!

Only problem is, I have eaten so many tomatoes, I have ulcers in my mouth.

Once those heal, I'll be eating more tomatoes. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Despite the drought, we're having a reasonably decent tomato season. Really impressed with the San Marzano variety.

I love my tomatoes in a chopped salad of tomatoes, basil, red onion, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic vinaigrette (sans sugar). Mmmm!

Only problem is, I have eaten so many tomatoes, I have ulcers in my mouth.

Once those heal, I'll be eating more tomatoes. :)
I grew San Marzano for a number of seasons, I don't remember how many exactly, we grew both the bush and vine. I liked them for their taste. If I remember correctly one or the other, set tomatoes all at once. The other set tomatoes over the entire season but didn't really produce much of any one point in time (determinate / indeterminate).

If I were to grow San Marzano again, I think I would need double up on the number of rows I plant.

Currently we like to plant a 50 foot row each of Roma and Amish Paste. But this year I only planted a 50 row, 25 foot each Roma and Amish Paste and we are still getting plenty enough for us to can. The only reason I went with a 50 row was because deer eat a bunch of my seedlings when I was hardening them off outside.

Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤🇺🇸
 
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