Keep Some for Later Tomato


Of Mice and Mountain MenAs summer winds down the tomato plants ramp up and we’ve got a bountiful harvest coming in. Some we use fresh – in fact we try to enjoy as many as we can fresh – but what to do with the rest?

Sharing is good: if you have friends and family that don’t raise their own tomatoes. A couple of Sundays ago we went to church and found a large basket of ripe, red tomatoes sitting inside the door. From the pulpit, the pastor clarified, “Those tomatoes inside the door are for taking home and eating, not for throwing at your pastor.”

Tomatoes by the Bucket 2

Tomato season doesn’t last long, so it’s a good idea to preserve for use later what you don’t eat or give away. Here are my favorite ways to preserve tomatoes to be enjoyed throughout the year.


Tomatoes freeze well, and it’s easy to do. Freezing does make the skins tough, so you can blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 second to get the skins to slip off easily, but I prefer not to. I remove the core, cut the tomato in half along the equator, use a plastic spoon to scoop out the seedy-goopy stuff (that does not freeze well) then cut the tomato halves into wedges. Lay the wedges skin side down on a cookie sheet and pop in the freezer. When the wedges are frozen stiff, quickly transfer them into a freezer bag and put it back into the freezer. When the bag is full, squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag before putting it into the deep freeze.

9/14/2014 7:00:24 AM

Thanks Dave. Like you, our summer was short: late start, so once the tomatoes got going they only had a few weeks to produce well. Now it's cooling off and the vines are dying. I'll be making a lot of green tomato relish this fall! But while they were producing, I was able to put up a decent amount for the winter.

9/9/2014 8:06:06 PM

Allan, this year the tomato crop not only came in about six weeks later than usual but it was very sparse. I had just enough to eat fresh with not extra this year. The weather was really lousy and too cold for the warm weather crops. The cool weather crops did well. Lettuce, radishes, onions, cabbage, and eggplant did great. The potatoes look good but I haven't started to dig them up just yet so the test will be when I start digging. ***** Have a great tomato preserving day.

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