In my first spring garden I grew six tomato plants. The two things that I quickly learned were that homegrown tomatoes are amazing and that I should have grown several more plants. The following year I grew 48 plants, from seed. We canned four gallons of tomatoes which provided fresh soup through the winter.
This year, my third spring in this garden, I recruited help to plant over 75 tomato plants. Even with the increase in plants we’ve not been able to set aside enough tomatoes to can four gallons. The main reason for this is simply because they get eaten. Another limiting factor was that I chose to grow a larger percentage of heirloom tomatoes which don’t tend to provide the ongoing abundance as cherry and pear varieties. And then there was the squirrel invasion that diminished our harvest for a few weeks.
The canning process is fairly simple but does require some special equipment. Below is the general process I use for canning tomatoes. This video shows equipement and a step by step recipe to follow. I do a few things differently (since recipes were made to be adjusted) such as roasting the tomatoes instead of blanching them. I don’t bother with removing the skins since the tomatoes will be pureed into soup or sauce. Learn more about how to roast tomatoes here.
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