Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Preserving The Bounty: Tomatoes

One of my goals for preserving this summer was to can jars of tomatoes to use through the winter. I was fortunate to meet a farmer at the local market who was willing to give me a good price.

I ordered 50 pounds of ripe "canning" tomatoes from him and ended up with about 60 pounds for $25. This was less than the price he'd quoted me and when I questioned him, he told me that if I had not asked for them, he most likely  would've had to throw them away as most folks wouldn't want to buy them that ripe.

I was happy that not only was I canning local produce, but also helping to prevent waste by getting these tomatoes!

My mom helped me to work these up since I'd never canned tomatoes before. We ended up with 21 quart and 5 pint of canned tomatoes. I don't know if this amount will get us completely through the winter but it will be a very good start!

Cost:  Just under $1 a quart, a little electricity and several hours of work!


Bevy said...

Good for you!! Doesn't that feel good? I know I felt "proud" of myself after doing Pickled Beets, Applesauce, Peaches and Peach Jam - last year.

Now. What will use canned tomatoes for specifically? Just for soup? or as an add-in to other recipes?

If I remember correctly - when my mother would can whole tomatoes (or large chunck)...she would make alot of soup. The kind that used baking soda - I can still remember "having to have to eat it"...with our grilled cheese. Thank God for grilled cheese. It helped to get it down. Not that it was "bad"- just as kids, it was a little tough.

Funny memory.

Mary Ann said...


I'll use these for all kinds of soups and also pretty much any other recipe calling for canned tomatoes like spaghetti and lasagna sauce. The chunks will cook down or I can go in with my kitchen shears and snip them up. :-)

Don't think I've ever had tomato soup with baking soda. Sounds interesting! My mom made a lot of tomato soup over the years and it was so good! One of our favorites. Homemade(at least my mom's) is so much better than canned from the store!

Thanks for visiting!

Denise said...

I used to can when we lived in the Midwest and my sons were little. What a great feeling of satisfaction when I saw all those jars filled with nature's bounty. I have a hard time finding produce at a reasonable price so it makes wanting to can not so appealing. I used to be able to buy produce by the bushel (I even had my own baskets) from the local Amish farmers. Keep up the good work.

The Working Home Keeper said...

That's awesome! I'm hoping to can some tomatoes this year as well.

Mary Ellen

Debbie J said...

Those jars of tomatoes are beautiful. I know you will enjoy making soup and other good things this winter. Yum!

TJ said...

What a great deal! I canned tomatoes two years ago and I know what a job that can be. Even though my back hurt for a week, it was worth it. Enjoy!

Mary Ann said...


I thought it was pretty easy (scald, peel, fill jars, process), but then there were two of us working on it! Without my mom, I would've been busy for most of the day.

I already love seeing these full jars on my shelf!

Mary Ann said...


Price has been my main obstacle too. Overall, our farmers markets have similar prices to the grocery store. So I have to weigh whether it's worth it to purchase and preserve my own if our own gardens don't produce the bounty.

Thanks for stopping by!