Tomato Heaven............

Ain't nothin' in the world that I like better
Than bacon & lettuce & homegrown tomatoes

Up in the mornin' out in the garden

Get you a ripe one don't get a hard one
Plant `em in the spring eat `em in the summer

All winter with out `em's a culinary bummer

I forget all about the sweatin' & diggin'
Everytime I go out & pick me a big one

Homegrown tomatoes
homegrown tomatoes

What'd life be without homegrown tomatoes

Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love & homegrown tomatoes

This weekend, we quit weeding and planting flowers and concentrated on weeding and planting tomatoes.

There are many things I don't plant in our garden. I don't plant lettuces and greens very often. I rarely plant speciality squash. And I never plant sweet corn. I have lots of farmer friends that grow great crops, they have more room and more patience than I do. (And they never forget that there is lettuce out there until it bolts!!!)

But I must have tomatoes. Lots and lots of tomatoes.

If someone told me that I could only preserve one item a year ..... It would be tomatoes. Hands down. No doubt. It would be tomatoes.

There is a sense of joy/satisfaction/pure pleasure that comes from opening a jar of tomatoes in January. No matter how bitterly cold it is outside .......... suddenly, it is summer in my kitchen.

No matter how hard Hunts/Del Monte/Heinz try, they can not capture the smell of home-canned tomatoes!

And this year, my friend Debbie asked if I would teach her to can tomatoes. YEA!!! A canning convert!!! So ... I went a little crazy on tomatoes. I have planted more in the past. But this is going to be a GREAT year so we will have lots of tomatoes.

And no ....... I am not selling tomatoes at Miss Eff's. These tomatoes are for four people.

So here is the list and why I grow each variety and for what purpose.

For basic canning ......... I look for a firm, fairly small tomato.

Early girl .......... 15 plants
Celebrity ............ 4 plants
Better Boy ......... 4 plants
Lemon Boy ........ 1 plant
Husky Red ........ 1 plant
Golden Jubilee ... 1 plant

Cherry tomatoes ..... besides just eating and snacking ... we like to dry the cherry tomatoes and toss into pasta in the winter. We only get one plant of each.

Black Cherry
Sweet Gold

Yellow Pear

Heirloom tomatoes. I LOVE the taste of heirloom tomatoes. Depending on the year, they can be great or so-so in production. I like blending lots of tomatoes in my salsa, so the heirloom tomatoes can add a lot of flavor and color variation to the salsa. If you have never tried a "black" tomato (and there are many) -- you should. Great flavor!

Black from Tula ....... 5 plants
Red Brandywine ..... 3 plants
Orange Blossom ....... 3 plants
Striped German ....... 3 plants

And Wapsipinicon Peach (just cuz I had to have it!) ........ 1 plant.

Then .... I grow La Romas for salsa and spaghetti sauce ... 6 plants and Big Boy for BLT's and slicing tomatoes .... 4 plants. Besides ..... I have to grow Big Boy!!! (wink- wink, Honey!!!)

So ... if I can still add ... I think that is 55 tomatoes. That should be enough for tomatoes, tomato juice, salsa, catsup, tomato sauce, roasted tomato sauce, chunky tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce.

Hmmmm? Maybe I should go out and get a few more.


corinne said…
that is almost like chicken math : )
Nothing beats a Sungold cherry tomato for sweetness. If you can find one, buy it!
Hi Cathy
This is totally unrelated to your tomato post but this was one way for me to get in touch with you. :) A couple of weeks ago I came out to the farm with the Heritage Church MOMS group and I forgot my orange metal water bottle there. If you found it and still have it, would it be possible for you to bring it to church with you sometime? My husband is Steve Meek, the Children's Pastor. If you would be so kind as to drop the water bottle off downstairs at the Kids Ministry check-in Hub, that would be great. Thanks so much! Teri Meek
Michelle said…
Love that song! Now I'm going to have an earworm all day, and I don't even mind. :-)
hotflawedmama said…
ohmygoodness. You are amazing, all those tomatoes. I'm with you, it's the one thing I gotta have. :)
Barb said…
Black from favorite tomato. Last year I found out it was my hens' favorite as well. As I stood over them INSIDE the (ahem)protective(?) deer netting with my hands on my hips asking them just what did they think they were doing eating my "blacks" they would give me that sideways know the one...with a "did you know you had these really wonderful tomatoes.. smack, smack, peck, peck. I ate 6, that's SIX black from tulas last year. This year I planted them far, far away from the girls.
I love your list. The last year I spent in the 'burbs, with my 6 raised beds, I grew 72 tomato plants. For me. Kelly doesn't eat them unless they are part of lasagna or pizza. I made roasted tomato paste every evening for weeks and froze it in flattened ziploc baggies and had the "library" of tomato paste in the freezer. Since I moved to the countryside, I have been unsuccessful in my tomato growing because the weeds overtake them. That is why this is the year of the raised bed building. So I can go back to growing silly numbers of tomatoes and feel happy again. :-)

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