My Favorite Tomato Varieties

What is it about our love and obsession with tomato varieties? Seed catalogs respond by offering dozens and dozens of varieties to choose from. And plant developers are cultivating new and unusual strains every year to feed our desire to find the next great tomato.┬áMy method for choosing tomato varieties focuses on reliability, production, flavor… Read more »

Planting Tomatoes Outside

Everyone seems to have a different rule of thumb on when it’s time to plant their tomatoes outside. Some wait for Mother’s Day. Others swear by the first week of June. One my local growers was even recommending folks in the Portland area move them outside in late-April, due to our unseasonably warm spring. The… Read more »

Mid-Spring Garden

The early spring blossoms have faded, but the garden is still growing by leaps and bounds. Here is a little snapshot of what’s catching my eye on the homestead in mid-Spring. Several new perennial herbs have been planted – either in ground or in pots. Springtime is a great time of year to plant them,… Read more »

Preserving Tomatoes

Tomato season is just about to come to a close and I’m just a few pints and quarts away from being okay with that. Here is how I have been busily preserving the tomato harvest this year. First, dry them! You can leave the skins on or off depending on your preference. Sauce tomatoes work… Read more »

Fresh Tomato Soup

I have been busily canning stewed tomatoes, marinara sauce and ketchup, but still the harvest basket fills with tomatoes. Roasting fresh tomatoes with garden onions and garlic is an easy way to blow through that late summer harvest. Sauce tomatoes work best, like the delicious San Marzanos. But any old mix of tomatoes will work… Read more »

How to Plant Tomatoes

It is time to get those tomatoes in the ground! I pulled out almost everything in my late spring bed – all the bolted celery, arugula and mature onions – and replaced them with healthy young tomato starts. There are a few things you can do when planting your tomatoes to make them extra happy…. Read more »

Tomatoes for Canning

Every week more and more jars of preserved goodies are added to our cupboard. Canning tomatoes is especially satisfying because I know we will blow through them this winter, as we always do. This year I am putting my efforts toward simply canned tomatoes (click link for recipe!). They are versatile to have in the… Read more »

Favorite Tomato Varieties

There are three general categories of tomatoes: sauce, slicer and cherry. Sauce tomatoes have thicker, meater fruit with less water which makes them ideal for marinara. Slicers are the big beef steak types that you want on sandwiches. And cherries are the little, sweet gems that are great for popping in your mouth while you… Read more »

Simple Canned Tomatoes

The first frost of the season waits for no one! I can’t use grad school as an excuse to delay the coming cold season, so I’ve been spending some early mornings and late evenings in the kitchen processing tomatoes. When I don’t have time to make a big batch of sauce, I am canning them… Read more »

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