Saturday, July 17, 2010

A tomato in the hand is worth two on the vine

We’ve got a LOT on the vine.  So far, none in hand. 
In our little garden plot, we’ve planted twelve tomato plants and we’re hoping for lots of fruit.  

The twelve Better Boy plants should produce more tomatoes than we can possibly use at one time.   
Better Boy tomatoes are vigorous, productive plants . . . most of ours are literally busting out of their 54” enclosures.  We have a lot of small green tomatoes but soon they could weigh up to about one pound.   Yes, we are definitely going to have lots and lots of tomatoes.  But we have a plan . . . we plan on preserving most of them by canning and drying.

However; waiting for them to ripen is making me crazy.  There is no instant gratification in growing tomatoes.

A woman's garden is growing beautifully but the darn tomatoes won't ripen.  There's a limit to the number of uses for green tomatoes and she's getting tired of it.  So she goes to her neighbor and says, "Your tomatoes are ripe, mine are green. What can I do about it?''  Her neighbor replies, "Well, it may sound absurd but here's what to do. Tonight there's no moon. After dark go out into your garden and take all your clothes off.  
Tomatoes can see in the dark and they'll be embarrassed and blush. In the morning they'll all be red, you'll see.''  Well, what the heck?   She does it.  The next day her neighbor asks how it worked.  "So-so,'' she answers,  "The tomatoes are still green but the zucchini are all four inches longer.''

Once ripened,  tomatoes are relatively easy to can.  Due to their high acidity they can be canned in a hot water bath and do not require a lot of preparation.  The canned tomatoes will last us until next season and we’re going to have the use of our very own tomatoes in chili, sauces and other dishes all through the winter and spring. 

Drying them is also a simple process. Dried tomatoes will keep for a long time in airtight packages and can be rehydrated for cooking or chopped up in salads or on their own as a light snack.

More on the canning and drying processes later when I actually have ripe tomatoes to can and dry.  :)

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