Last season our tomato plants produced a total of 156 edible tomatoes. I’d say we had another 30-ish that were ruined by insects. This was our most successful year yet. After two years of trying different locations in our yard we finally found the perfect space for the proper sun and shade.
I think the most influential thing on our garden this year, was the nutrient rich compost that Greg makes. We maintain our supply year-round by constantly rotating the compost (in our homemade compost bins) with the house scraps we save, and adding from our stockpile of leaves and grass clippings.
We also learned a valuable tomato lesson from a good friend. Pick the tomatoes when they are GREEN. Put them in a brown paper bag and store them in a cool, dark place. Check the tomatoes every few days and in a about a week they will be a beautiful red. The last two years we would wait and wait and then all of sudden they would turn and it was too late. Once they turned red and got sweet, we would have a problem with the bugs eating them.
This was one of the last tomato pulls we had of the season (October). All of these tomatoes were pulled green and turned using the brown bag method.
In the beginning the flow was pretty steady and we would easily eat everything we picked on a weekly basis. As soon as the weather turned from warm to cool (Sept-Oct), I pulled 62 tomatoes in two weeks. I had to learn how to can…and fast.
I found a few canning recipes online since this was my first time and experimented with two. (I had also watched a canning demo at the tomato festival this summer) One recipe was for crushed tomatoes and one was for a sauce. The crushed recipe was a lot quicker but now that we’ve been eating them I prefer the sauce recipe more. I think I needed to “wring” out the tomatoes a lot more before crushing them because those cans came out very watery. Below is a pic of the tomatoes cooking down to make the sauce recipe.
The 62 tomatoes produced enough for 27 jars, half crushed, half sauce. I only have 6 left. It better warm up soon.
The holidays are finally over. We were terrible to ourselves the past few weeks. Zero self-control. Sugar filled cookie after sugar filled cookie. Talk about a cheat week. I haven’t cheated this bad since I started Paleo almost 11 months ago. But its over….finally. Today is Day 1 of the 21 day sugar detox. This book is such a good read and will make you feel amazing. Well, the first week or so you don’t feel amazing; you almost feel terrible. When we first did this back in February I was googling flu symptoms after a few days. We both thought we were getting really sick. Just the opposite, we were getting better. Our bodies were detoxing from the sugar and experiencing actual detox side effects. If you can stay strong and get through the first week or so, you will come out on the other side a new person. Healthier sleep, much more energy and you will see an amazing difference in your skin. I think my favorite part of the book is the weekly food schedules. Most of the things you will cook will leave you with leftovers and the author incorporates that into the next day. The hardest part of a food plan for us is that some days we work until 6 and then go to Crossfit and by the time we get home we are just too tired to cook an entire meal from scratch. When we sat down to dinner tonight, my husband said “Man, sometimes I forget how good Paleo meals are compared to that crap we used to eat.” You really never feel like your on a “diet” and everything we make (especially in the winter) feels so homey. We didn’t cook from the book tonight but rather just made a mish mosh of what was in the fridge. Some nights you just have to be realistic and use what you’ve got!
- Nature’s Promise Chicken Sausage
- Organic Peas
- Organic Butternut Squash
- Organic Mushrooms and Onions
All cooked in a little bit of coconut oil and minced garlic. We used Steve’s Original Tomato Balsamic dressing on the side. It feels good to be back.