Last weekend we harvested 15 gallons of veggies from the garden (again!) and another 5 gallons that went to the chickens. We also spent a few minutes cleaning up our mess. Since Michael went over the road we have barely managed our garden. Mostly we just let everything grow willy nilly. Not such a big deal with the peppers and eggplant. But letting tomatoes go creates this mass of vines and fruit that is very difficult to harvest from, difficult to manage, and smothers out everything around them. Specially since they were getting plenty of water from my fabulous new drip irrigation system.
We decided to cut back a section of one of our tomato plants because it was growing over our onions and choking them out. This left us with about 2.5 gallons of GREEN tomatoes. What the heck am I going to do with all these green tomatoes??
First thing we did was to make some Green Tomato Curry. That took up about 5 tomatoes… not a big help. So let’s just can them up. Only so many green tomatoes I can eat in a week, right?
So I found the “recipe” on the internet… green tomatoes and canning salt. Not terribly complicated. Since green tomatoes are highly acidic they just need to be water bath canned. We chose this way so that we can use them in whatever other recipe we want. Rather than having 13 jars of green salsa, or having to make several recipes to try to can.
Not only that, but we will have many more buckets of green tomatoes to process as winter comes on even more. Currently our plants probably have 30 or more gallons of tomatoes still on the vine waiting to ripen (hopefully), or get picked green when the frost comes.
The recipe we found said to slice tomatoes into pint jars. We tried this and got about 1.5 tomatoes per jar, which was not enough. I would have gone through about 30 jars that way. Nope, not going to happen. SO we decided to dice them up smaller in our food processor.
First we cut them up into quarters or a bit smaller. Then, using the food processor pulse function, pulsed them 3-6 times to get the desired size. They were not a consistent dice, but it was much quicker this way.
We them placed the diced tomatoes in pint jars, filling them to within 3/4 inch from the top.
We then filled the jars with boiling water to within 1/2 inch head space and water bath canned. Overall this was a simple process and took us a total of about 3 hours. 45 minutes to cut up all the tomatoes and get into the jars, but about an hour just to get my large water-bath canner up to a boil to process.
So here is the “recipe” and method for canning your left over tomato harvest. I recommend reviewing the Canning 101 – Water Bath Canning tutorial prior to beginning.
Canning Green Tomatoes
- Green tomatoes
- Canning Salt
DirectionsCut tomatoes to desired size. Fill in pint jars to 3/4-1/2 inch head space. Add 1/2 teaspoon canning salt per pint jar (1 teaspoon for quart jars). Top of with boiling water to 1/2 inch head space being sure to release bubbles, and readjust head space if necessary.
Place clean seals and tighten rings to finger tight. Place jars in water-bath canner and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes to process.
Remove heat and let sit 10 minutes before removing from canner.
Wait 24 hours before testing seals.