An urban micro farm experiment. Adventures in trying to live a simple life.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's a big day

No, I haven't decided to adopt a hound nor have I reached retirement age.

It's the day you realize that it's time to start preserving your harvest! In my case, that can only mean that it's tomato canning time!!!!

When you grow a huge portion of what you eat....ahem, what that really means is: if you eat a huge portion of what you wait, what I really mean to type is: if you eat pounds of tomatoes a day, it's time to start preserving them for the colder days ahead.

You plant the tiny seeds close to March 17 and tend to them until you reach your reward five months later. That means when they're ripe, you do what needs to be done to finish what you started on that cold day in March.

In this case, I took a day off from work. In addition to it being a celebratory day of a bumper crop harvest, it's also a much needed day off for the canner (moi).

And so it starts.....

 It's raining now. Perfect day to create magic inside.

 This is what so much of my clothing looks like after I harvest tomatoes. Stains.

 It looks like I'll have enough to do some canning today!

 About 13 pounds.

 All washed and ready for their bath.

 The tools.

 Cleaned and rinsed in boiling water and kept warm in the oven.

 Just like prepping for surgery.

 It always seems like the first time is a big deal. I need to review all of the important pieces of the process.

The recipe I used today is just whole tomatoes but once the jars are filled, you push down to release the juice. I decided to use the small tomatoes as fillers in the jars.

 So many pieces to the process.

 Naked. The Chocolate Cherry variety always looks odd with that green flesh.

A very simple recipe. 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and a half teaspoon of salt is all you need in each pint. The tomatoes make their own juice.

 This is why some people go to the store and buy a can of tomatoes. A huge mess. The whole kitchen is a mess....drawers open, doors open, wet towels.

And this is why a few people go through all of that work. This year in particular is exciting because of the amount of tomatoes I hope to have and the success of so many varieties which will provide a rich selection of whole tomatoes for the winter. In some years, there aren't as many successes so I end up with just a couple of varieties preserved for the winter.

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