Friday, 22 February 2013

Tomato time

So far this season I have harvested about 27kg of tomatoes. It has been a bit hit and miss - the romas and Marzanos have really bad blossom end rot, but the ox hearts in the same bed are fine. The beefsteak varieties are going great guns, as are the grape and cherry red pear varieties.

27kg sounds like loads, right? Well, not really. You see I try to grow enough tomatoes to last the whole year. I fact I have not bought tinned tomatoes for about 4 years now. But to be self sufficient in "tinned" tomatoes, you need to grow a LOT. Of the picked tomatoes I'd say I have preserved about 24kg. The romas and a few others I roasted and then ran through the mouli for a kind of passata, and the rest I have preserved as halves or chopped tomatoes. I have about 11 litres from that, which is roughly equal to about 22 tins of tomatoes. Now if you use 2-3 tins a week, which we can easily do, that is less than 3 months worth of tomatoes. And that does not include tomato paste...which you need a lot more tomatoes for. In fact I normally buy a 10kg box of seconds to make my paste, but I'm not sure I will be doing that this year. And then there are the tomatoes for salsa, semi dried and chutney......

So that's why I will be happier if the end of the season the harvest is more like 100kg. But even then it won't be enough to make everything. This self sufficiency stuff - even on a small scale - is hard work.

 

4 comments:

Joyfulhomemaker said...

Some good looking Tony's there

Ree said...

One has to grow a LOT of tomatoes to do all the things you want to do with them. This year we've harvested a very small fraction of what we could have, due to rats, so we have lots of planning to do before planting next season.

Liz : strayed from the table said...

That is a lot of tomatoes. I am on the hunt at the moment for an old pressure cooker so I can start jarring my tomatoes, instead of chopping and dicing them for relishes and chutneys. I just want jars of whole tomatoes for sauce.

Margo said...

Lizzie you don't need a pressure cooker for tomatoes - a large saucepan is just fine as you can preserve them with the water bath method as they are high acid (although add citric acid or lemon juice for home grown ones just to be safe)

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