Are you as tired of hearing about them as I am dealing with them? I told Vince last night that I think next year I’m going to plant twice as many as I did this year, harvest tomatoes til it gets too hot and dry and then about mid-July, give up on them and stop messing with them. He said “you know you won’t do that” and I know I won’t. As long as there’s a chance they’ll make a tomato, I don’t give up on them. This year, for some crazy reason, we’ve hardly had a bug problem at all. I haven’t had to spray or dust or say bad words! There are a few grasshoppers and they seem mostly interested in the asparagus.
One of the small tomatoes we love are the Porters. They’re bigger than a cherry type tomato but way smaller than a full size tomato. I wish they would produce a full size Porter. They’re heat resistant and they produce like no other tomato I’ve tried to grow here. So, what do you do with a ton of small tomatoes? I’ve given them to everyone who will take them. Last night the UPS man was here as I was coming out of the garden with a bucket. I said “Do you want tomatoes or eggs?” He said . . hmmm . . I think my wife just bought eggs. I said “You’re not leaving without something. You can dump it at the end of the driveway but you’re taking something!” He looked in my bucket of tomatoes and he said “Those are gorgeous tomatoes!” I went in the house and got a bag and said “Take all you want!” Yay, I got rid of more of them!
As I had been canning the bigger tomatoes all week, I was tossing the Porters into a 2 gallon bucket and by Thursday, the bucket was overflowing and I knew they were going to go bad if I didn’t do something with them. I left the skins on, halved them, squeezed the seeds out. I had 4 bowls full of tomatoes and 8 pints of “tomato water”.
Nothing goes to waste. The tomato water is great in soups or stews. The cores went into the freezer and they will become frozen treats for the chickens on these miserably hot days.
The good part of the tomatoes went into the dehydrator and I ended up with 2 more half pints of tomato powder.
The tomato powder is great when you want tomato flavor without the extra liquid or chunks of tomatoes. I love it in gravy, salad dressing, deviled eggs, dips . . a little bit of it goes a long way and I already had 6 half pints. I’ll give one or two to Chad and whatever remains will be more than enough to get us through the year.
But . . what about the rest of those tomatoes out there??
The tomato powder would be perfect to flavor tortillas. Any veggie powder would too. I think I need to save for a dehydrator…
Sorry I’m not nearer you! I would be there for eggs and Tomatoes! It has been cool and a little damper than usual here in Cincy, Oh so the tomatoes are just getting ripe. Last yr and this yr they have some kind of brown spots on the leaves and they are dying off! I’ve read up on it and they say to not plant there for a few yrs, it’s some kind of fungus…. but I only have a TINY plot So it’s hard to rotate.
I need something to plant there, or add to the soil to negate the issue. Any ideas?
why don’t you get some big pots and put the tomatoes in the pots and then use the in-ground area for squash or peppers for a few years. Just don’t fill the pots with soil from that plot of ground….get some garden soil and mix with potting soil.
The ONLY thing worth slaving over in a garden are the tomatoes! I wait all year to have REAL, delicious tomatoes. I’m in awe of your ability to use every bit!
Helen Koenig1 says
I’ve been there! In fact last year was my tomato year. This year I went “halfsies” with my son on some expensive tomato plants. Mistake! BIG mistake! Yes, one of my plants has lovely green tomatoes that may ripen at frost time. The other – well, let’s just say a good strong breeze will knock it over!
And yes, that’s only 2. With remodeling and all I decided to downsize my garden from enormous to enough.
Unfortunately – the “enough” will NOT be enough and the big stockpile of dried tomatoes that I had is nearly gone! The peppers ARE gone. All that’s really left of LAST YEAR’s produce are green beans – and goodness knows I sure used those a lot too!
This year in terms of canning – it isn’t happening! Dehydrating? Maybe – probably not! And I truly do hate that!
NEXT year though – watch out Mass. I’m back to planting a BIG garden with LOTS of tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers as well as eggplant! I may kvetch a lot about canning, picking, mosquitos and all (especially bad this summer!) but I do love home grown and canned foods!
Ray will be right over to help take some tomatoes off your hands! I wish. Our cherry and Roma’s produced a little but we only got 2 big tomatoes. Maybe next year.
Like everyone else wish I lived closer. But you can never have enough home grown tomatoes.
Could you bring me some tomatoes, please?
Linda in NE says
I picked the first two ripe tomatoes this afternoon!! BLT, here I come! 🙂 We’ve had a lot of rain here and my plants keep falling over. Then I try to prop them up with handles off of old push lawn mowers. I need more old handles!! 🙂 Those store bought tomato cages are worthless. Next year I’m buying some of those posts meant for electric fences and putting about two of them with every cage. Maybe that will keep things upright.
I wish I lived next door!! Darrell is wanting to dehydrate the pulp after he runs the juicer.
Wow!! Our tomato plants are just coming in reds, oranges and yellows. I think I may have to try the porters they sound like just perfect. We like the sun gold tomatoes as they are a small tomato like the Porters.
Have you tried a cucamelon ? I just read about them and may have to try it next year. Sutton Seeds has the seeds or plants: They are a small cucumber plant with a lime tinge.
Denise Porter says
I have never heard of Porter tomatoes. I will have to look for them … after all, my husband is a Porter so I’ve become one too! I don’t eat many tomatoes but it is still fun to see your name on things!
Kathy C in OR says
Not sure if you have a program like we have here in OR. We have a Gleaners organization that will come to your farm or garden and pick your over abundance of food and supply the local food bank. They are experienced at going through a field or garden and very gentle with the plantings. Just a thought.
This summer we’ve had a lot of cool nights here on Long Island, NY and the tomatoes are slow to ripen. I give you lots of credit for handling a large garden. Every time I read one of your garden stories I picture a Steven King scenario. What would be a good title?
Last year, I canned Sweet and Sour Sauce in pint jars. You process it in a water bath canner. Got the recipe online and made only about 10 jars to see if we really liked it.
Oh my goodness, talk about an easy, quick meal – open a jar of the sauce (it uses TOMATOES, pineapple and bell pepper) and pull out some pre-made meatballs or cooked chicken chunks from freezer, make some brown rice and Voila!!!- instant meal!!!!
I will be making many more jars this week with my abundant tomato and bell pepper harvest!
Have my best tomato crop ever. Planted 10plants (6 different varieties) and have well over 200 tomatoes. Only problem is about 3/4 of them have blossom end rot. What a disappointment!