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Bumper Crop

Don’t let anybody tell you that heirloom tomatoes just don’t produce very well.

tomatoharvest

Mostly Pink Brandywine, couple of Cherokee Purples in there too.

This is just the last couple days worth, off three plants. We’ve gone through a couple of bowls full doing tomato sandwiches, bruschetta, chopping them over spaghetti, Kevin’s putting them in his salads…now they’re starting to pile up a bit as we run out of the usual methods. Kevin swears he’ll make salsa or sauce or something tomorrow.

There’s still probably a bowl worth ripe on the plants, I just haven’t gone out to bring them in yet. (When I get really ambitious, I have one potted tomato that has run its course and needs to be sent to the compost heap and replaced with petunias or something. Given the heat recently, I am not all that ambitious.)

It’s been a heckuva year for tomatoes—one of the Brandywines, trained over an arch, is really quite a glorious thing, and I’m probably going to do that every year now—and even the notoriously finicky Cherokee Purple is producing a bumper crop.

Incidentally, they are all upside-down in the bowl because America’s Test Kitchen determined in multiple trials that a tomato stored upside down—or with tape over the stem hole!—lasts two or three days longer than stored upright. Turns out that the air and the bacteria and whatnot that lead it to rot get in primarily through the hole left by the stem, so by placing them stem-side down, you get a couple of extra days on your tomato. How awesome is that?

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.

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Yeah, just dice 'em and freeze, or cook down a giant pot of sauce, then divvy it up into freezer bags, two cups or so in each. I tend to double-bag them because I shove things around in my freezer.

But, Kevin is Lutheran, surely he can swap them for a ton of zucchini at church.

Finally, see if any soup kitchens are accepting donations. They may be overwhelmed with tomatoes by now, though.

I concur with the 'giant pot of sauce' idea. Had a near-apocalyptic tomato oversupply problem a couple years ago, which required making another batch of sauce every few days, even after we started feeding fresh tomatoes to the dogs.

The freezer was full by the end of the summer, but there was homemade tomato sauce for the better part of a year after that.

Interestingly, basil doesn't cause the same issue. Like: an entire trash bag of basil and some pine nuts equals just a quart or two of fresh pesto. So, if your tastes lean more towards the pesto than the marinara, plant a million basil plants and only a couple tomato plants.

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