A fresh picked bowl of tomatoes from the garden
A fresh picked bowl of tomatoes from the garden

It is here.  Tomato season has arrived at the farm and like every year – it becomes a mad rush to pick, eat, make and store everything we can with the magical red fruit.

It always amazes me how quickly we go from impatiently waiting for that first taste from those ripening green globes to “what the $%&! are we going to do with all of these tomatoes?!”  🙂

Freshly canned salsa made on Saturday
Freshly canned salsa made on Saturday

Over the course of the next few weeks – we will pick anywhere from 25 to 50 pounds a day from the garden – and almost every night, we will be water bathing or pressure canning a batch of home-made salsa, ketchup, pasta sauce, tomato juice, pizza sauce and more. (You can find some of our favorite tomato based recipes below)

I have to admit – by the end of it all – we are usually ready for it to be over.  But you just can’t beat heading into the pantry during the fall, winter and early spring to pull out a jar of canned garden goodness.

The Celebrity Tomate - our favorite!
The Celebrity Tomato – our favorite!

This year’s harvest was pushed back a week or two more than normal by the cooler and wetter weather we have experienced here in Ohio.  But judging by the first few pickings – the harvest should be right up there with the last few years.

Although we always try a new variety or two every year – our favorite tomato continues to be the Celebrity – it really is the ultimate tomato in so many ways.  It not only has that “perfect” tomato shape – but is a heavy producer on the vine – slices beautiful for sandwiches – and works well for salsa, juices, or any of our sauces.

There is nothing like the taste of fresh tomato juice from the garden
There is nothing like the taste of fresh tomato juice from the garden

It also blends well with our La Roma tomatoes – the other workhorse variety we plant each year. The Roma’s meaty substance makes it a great choice when it comes to thickening up our pasta and pizza sauce.

We tend to use the first few harvests of our tomatoes for juice and salsa – because they are usually more plump early in the season.   We then make our pasta sauce, pizza sauce and ketchup with the tomatoes harvested later – as they tend to be a little thicker from the late summer heat.

You can find many of our tomato based recipes on the blog under the canning and Friday Recipe tabs…but here are some of our favorites:

PICANTE SALSA – HOW TO MAKE AND CAN

HOT AND SPICY TOMATO JUICE – MAKING YOUR OWN V-8 JUICE

GARDEN FRESH PASTA SAUCE RECIPE 

HOME MADE TOMATO SOUP

HOME MADE KETCHUP – HOT AND SPICY

Happy Gardening,

Jim and Mary

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