Tomatoes — Harvesting and Preserving

Martha Stewart
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Tomato Plant

I have been feasting on delicious, healthy vine-ripened tomatoes for several months now. The key to a good balanced harvest is selecting tomato cultivars that flourish at different times throughout the season.

All tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) fall into one of two categories: indeterminate plants bear fruit continuously up until frost and will provide slow but steady pickings perfect for eating fresh in salads and salsas; determinate plants set one large crop and are finished once it ripens, so they are good for the bounty needed for making soups and sauces.

This year I grew more than 10 different varieties so I could have a long and varied harvest. I am finally harvesting all the remaining tomatoes from their vines. I will ripen the green tomatoes indoors and preserve the ripe tomatoes.

Canning is one of the best ways to save some of your summer harvest for year-round use. Choose tomatoes for canning that are flavorful, meaty, and, if you’ll be canning whole tomatoes, small enough to fit through the opening of the jar. Here are just a few good choices for canning: the ‘Opalka’ variety is a newly available heirloom paste tomato originally from Poland. It has excellent flavor, is very meaty, and has few seeds. ‘La Roma’ is a hybrid tomato that produces a significantly larger crop than the standard Roma. It tastes delicious, and like all plum tomatoes, has an ideal texture for canning. ‘Classica’ is a red pear tomato with wonderful flavor. The deep red fruit is perfect for canning, as well as for making sauces. It’s also known for an exceptionally large crop.

Martha Tomato Seed

Sweetie

Martha Tomato Seed San Marzano

San Marzano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martha Tomato Beefsteak

Beefsteak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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