Saturday, September 03, 2005

Lycopersicon Review 2005

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it starts out innocently enough...the first picking of tomatoes provides enough to fill a plate for fresh eating...the second day provides the same and some to give to neighbors for fresh eating...the third day provides two baskets of 15 lbs each...after that it all becomes a blur, the tomatoes line the counter tops... and you are experiencing an avalanche of tomatoes!
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This year has been a wonderful year for tomatoes.  I did not grow many different varieties....last year I had so many different heirloom types, but the growing season was bad and it was a bust.  This year I grew something called "Bellestar"...for canning.  It is a very nice plant, the tomatoes are about the size of the palm of your hand...the fruit forms in a cluster fashion on the vine, with about 4 or 5 in a cluster.  This tomato was bred in Canada, so I thought it would perform well with our cool nights.  I will grow this next year.  I was also happy with black pear...this is a very tasty tomato..and pretty to look at on the vine. The deep color is evident when sliced.
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My kitchen is becoming increasing cluttered.  When I begin to harvest, the first "accessory" to appear is the hot water canner...for pickles and fruit jelly.  When the beans come in, I haul out the pressure canner.  When the tomato avalanche arrives, I bring up the squeezo food mill.
I would not do this job if it were not for the squeezo...tomatoes go in the top, seed and skin comes out one side, and pulped tomato out the other!   I let the pulped tomato sit for a time to let the water rise, but this year, I did not experience any water!  This is the last big push...when all the tomatoes are in the jars I can finally put it all away and start clean up in the garden as well.
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So far I have processed only 30 pounds of tomatoes.  Of these 30 pounds, 11 of it was skin and seed waste (well not really waste..the chickens enjoy that part of it.)  The pulped tomato measured 2 and one half gallons, which cooked down to 6 quarts...For thick sauce, an average of 46 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 28 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel yields 7 to 9 quarts of sauce.  ....there is a long way to go, and counter tops full of tomatoes to jar before I sleep.


Liz said...

My tomatoes haven't fared as well this year as last, so you're lucky even though it's a lot of work.

My mom gave me her old Squeezo....I couldn't live without it. :)

Judith said...

Amazing Tomatoes! The photos are wonderful.

judy said...

I think I n=NEED a Squeezo, I keep having jars (or lids) fail so am definitely in need of a pressure canner. Yhe new tomatoes need more heat than the older water canned varieties.

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