I just washed my hands and the soapy water is completely green. That’s what happens after I’ve been picking tomatoes. The tomatoes we planted earlier this summer are coming in fast and furious.Usually, the tomatoes get oven roasted and made into sauce directly after picking.
But this year, our weather has been so hot that most days, it’s too hot to turn the oven on. (Our old house has a wonderful front porch but lacks insulation and air conditioning.) This year, I’ve taken to picking the cherry tomatoes and dropping them into a container for freezing immediately.
No rinsing tomatoes or freezing them individually. Large tomatoes need slicing in half – mostly to fit into the containers.
Tomato soup and heavenly pasta sauce can get made in January – when we want the heat from the oven to warm our cold house. Having tomatoes from the garden in the winter is such a treat, too. They’re not pretty enough for a salad but they taste delicious.
I found biodegradable food storage bags at Bi-Mart. They were less expensive than the name brand zip top storage bags and they’re an environmentally responsible product – meaning they break down in a compost bin. They’re by a company called Green Solutions and I bought the gallon size.
While I prefer using glass containers for storing food, when we run out of space in our freezer at this time of year, these plastic bags are helpful.
I visited our local morning talk show, AMNW, to share my methods for preserving the harvest – quickly.
We’ve made pickles and frozen lots of herbs already. I think we’ll make peach jam during the fall. We picked lots of peaches (from a u-pick farm) and they’re so sweet, we’ll hardly need any sweetener.
Harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables that we’ve grown in our garden, or from a farm, is one of my favorite summer time activities. Knowing we’ve grown the food – or at least picked it ourselves – makes it taste that much sweeter. But, I’m not sure when I’ll stop smelling like tomato plants.
What are you harvesting right now in your garden? Have you been picking produce this summer?