Growing Tomatoes and Using Gluts

I can’t get enough tomatoes. I grow them at home, and now we’re planting out some generously donated seedlings on the allotment too. There is no such thing as a tomato glut as far as I’m concerned!

These are the ways I deal with ‘too many tomatoes’:

Freezing – using a big pasta pot and water at a rolling boil, I cut a small cross in the non-blossom end of each fruit, drop a dozen into the water and scoop them out as soon as the cuts begin to curl back. I drop in another dozen while I’m shucking the skins from the first lot wearing thick rubber gloves and by the time I’ve done one dozen, the next are ready to come out. Chuck them all in a big bowl and when you’ve removed all the skins, chop them roughly by hand – instant chopped tomatoes! Just bag them and freeze them.

Drying – using washed, ripe and firm tomatoes. Half or quarter plum-type tomatoes and cut cherry tomatoes in half or leave really small ones whole. Slice other types 1/2- to 1/4-inch thick, depending on your preference. A kilo yields only a couple of ounces of dried tomatoes! Oven-drying takes 6 to 12 hours, depending on the moisture content of the fruit. It's important to remove as much moisture as possible without allowing the fruits to dry completely, because the lower the moisture content, the longer the tomatoes can be stored safely. Dried fruits should be leathery and pliable but not either sticky or burnt or desiccated. Preheat the oven to 140° to 145°F and place the tomatoes with their skin side against plastic-mesh screen (if you only have metal, line it with greaseproof or it will taint the tomato taste), or on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper or a flexible baking mat. Prop the oven door open slightly to allow the moist, hot air to escape. Check the tomatoes regularly, and rotate the baking sheet if necessary. Stored in airtight bags they keep until the first of the next year’s fresh tomatoes.

Next time - tomato problems!

Labels: , ,

Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Monday, June 9, 2008

3 Comments:

Anonymous Simon Kirby said...

Are the tomatoes in the picture marmande? It takes me back - my dad grew them and made chutney in a huge aluminium pan.

I grew loads of tomatoes one year and lost the lot to blight just as they were turning red. It was devastating. I won't grow them any more, and it's a real shame.

Simon

June 10, 2008 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Blimey, well spotted that man! And today's post should lay bare the way to deal with blight ...

June 11, 2008 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger mitchdcba said...

Great to plant tomatoes like that. It works. Have you ever put crushed egg shells at the bottom of the hole? The calcium in the egg shells is good for the plants. Like banana peels & egg shells blended & put around Roses. Sweeter smelling & healthier Roses.

how to grow tomatoes

May 21, 2010 at 7:25 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

     Return to Home page

Click Here to Follow this blog

Allotment Blog

Latest Posts

Get in touch

Have a question? Send it to:
allotmentblogger [at] gmail.com

Stay up to date with the latest Allotment Blogger posts by subscribing to our RSS feed.
Allotment Gardener RSS Feed

Links

Allotment Products

Browse the archive