It is probably a couple of years since I wrote about the vegetable garden. This is partly because I know my seasons are very different to most of my readers and so not very helpful for comparisons or advice. Plus although the seasons vary I grow mostly the same crops every year. However after I received so many comments about the plate of tomatoes I showed at the end of last Monday’s vase post, I thought a post about one method I use to conserve my tomatoes might be of interest.
I grow more than 25 different varieties of tomatoes – some I grow every year (Roma for making sauce to bottle) and others new to try to discover that perfect tomato flavour.
I have already made enough jars of sauce, mostly from the Roma but also a few jars made of yellow and orange varieties.
I have to admit that in past years I haven’t been very good about feeding my tomatoes, but this year they have been fed with Comfrey tea once a week since the beginning of July; it has made a noticeable difference, that and the wetter summer has meant all the tomatoes (not to mention the peppers) are much juicier than usual.
Faced with 2 more trays of Roma tomatoes I decided to dry some.
We were lucky enough to be given a dehydrator as a wedding present (my husband was a passionate collector of mushrooms and we collected and dried a lot of Porcini when we lived in England. I think I may begin to use it more again now.
After about 6 hours the tomatoes had visibly shrunk.
After another couple of hours the tomatoes were flexible and slightly leathery.
I decided to leave the tomatoes at this stage; they aren’t dry enough to store in a bag at this stage but they are reduced in volume hugely so I can dedicate some space for them in the freezer. They are at the perfect stage to use in bread or focaccia or add to a sauce for a more intense flavour of tomato without the volume of liquid.
Do you store produce from your garden for later use? How do you use your tomatoes?