Fresh from the Homestead: Tomatoes

Can I tell you a secret?

I’ve been gardening since my second daughter was born and I still don’t know the secret to perfect tomatoes. (I think the secret sauce is living in Italy with that anciently fertilized soil, but anyway…I live in the new world.)

I seed tomatoes in mid-February.

Roma tomatoes, appropo… Recently I picked up a few more tomato seeds (in case the grocery stores close or something…) Amish paste were my choice. this time around.

I should really get a few slicing tomatoes for hamburgers too. And Tiny Tims for snacking or salads. But mostly, I’m eager to make pizza sauce, to can my own tomatoes, and to make garden salsa.

Anything I can open from a jar in mid-January is heaven.

I have been researching tomatoes. I’ve been researching established sites that I enjoy watching too, and I share them with you…

This gal has really useful content, she’s down to earth and she’s got a lot of earth to share.

Two things we need for tomatoes for sure:

Fish fertilizer. It’s the food that keeps on giving. You can buy it (I do that) or you can blend up a fish from the river (I do that too), soak it in a bucket of water, and pour it at the base of the plants. Weird, yes. Do the kids want to eat smoothies the day after? Probably not. Does it work? Oh yes.

Chicken manure. Benefits of chickens: endless. Disadvantage of chickens: they poop on your verandah. (Hence the new fence this year). Major benefit, besides the eggs and meat, is aged chicken manure. Chicken manure is AMAZING. Get chickens.

Don’t water the leaves. Or you’ll cause your own problems: name, tomato blight. Water just around the base of the plant.

Epsom salts & egg shells & coffee grounds. Some controversy whether you need this, or whether this has a profound benefit, but where else are you gonna put this stuff? (Note to self, wash the egg shells and dry them in the oven–keep a baking sheet on the lowest aspect of the oven and regular throw the shells in).

Tomato Blight

If you’ve gardened tomatoes long enough, you’ll discover a white fuzzy stain on tomato leaves. Blight can kill your plants. Want to know how to keep your plants alive, despite the threat of blight?

Too many tomatoes?

Wilderstead (love the name! is a YouTube channel based in the Canadian wilderness) shares a recipe we all can use in September if we overplanted (which we always do): the art of stewed tomatoes.

Old Fashioned On Purpose

I’m always going to send you to visit my friend Jill’s site, cause the girl knows how to live old fashioned on-purpose…and since she grew up like me, with boxed Kraft Dinner and bologna sandwiches inside the city, but decided to turn her adult world into a homegrown farm focus, I can relate. She shares the fastest tomato sauce in fifteen minutes.

Crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato paste and pizza sauce

Canning crushed tomatoes basic tutorial in a beautiful kitchen.

Theodore’s kitchen is farmhouse perfect. Love it, love him. Show me how to make 18 quarts of whole tomatoes.

Tomato paste from Sunshine Kitchen.

Since we make a pizza every week of the year, I need 52 cans of pizza sauce before the tomato season is over. Hence, the primary reason I’m turning up my tomato production. Chef John’s Secret Homemade pizza sauce .

Every week I’ll share a healthy offering “Fresh from the Homestead” in my self-care strategy newsletter.

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