In Which I Learn Quantities

This year we planted a small garden. By that I mean, I was enormously pregnant with the snickerdoodle, so I bought plants and Jonathan planted them and tended them. After a great deal of research, I decided that what we needed was Celebrity tomatoes as they seemed most hardy. All of the gardening sites I read said that if you planned to eat tomatoes for the season only you would need eight to ten plants per person in your family. If you planned to preserve any you would need to up that to fifteen plants. Figuring that two of the tomato eating people in our family are small and our planting area wasn’t huge I would get ten plants.

We planted eight in the back yard and two in those upside down hanging planter dealies.

This is what my backyard looks like right now:

My tomato forest

It’s a good thing my kids like tomatoes! I think I may have to learn how to can, and invest in canning supplies.

In other gardening news, can I wine about my grapes? (har har) This is happening:

Anyone know what this is, why it's happening and what to do about it?


About Coralie

After 11 years of infertility, I am now a mother to three, a wife of a Presbyterian (ARP) preacher and a struggling homemaker. Welcome to my little corner of the net. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and join the conversation. View all posts by Coralie

7 responses to “In Which I Learn Quantities

  • melissa

    HA! Eight to ten plants…per person!! Yikes! I can, have six people in the family and plant twelve plants! This usually leaves me a little short, but I only buy about one flat or so… I think the person who wrote that was a bad gardener – or maybe had a really short growing season (?). That would explain the discrepancy.

    But – freezing tomatoes is really easy, too, You can drop them in boiling water when they ripen, leave them about 30 seconds, pull them out and slip the skins off, then chop and bag – voila – tomato soup/sauce base. Or you can make a complete sauce (again, base for any tomato dish) and freeze the sauce in yogurt containers. I have more shelf room than freezer room, so I like to can it, but it’s not necessary at all. Tomatoes are the best – you almost can’t have too many if you are willing to do a little work as they ripen. Oh, and if they ripen at different times you can just throw the whole fruit into the freezer until you have enough for a batch, then proceed as above. I did my whole season of tomatoes in October the year Bethan was born by just throwing them in the freezer as they ripened – and it worked fine.

    So fun – I love it that you have a garden!!!!

  • Peggy

    I too have a tomato forest, although I planted only 6 cherry tomato plants, in exactly one month they have taken over the whole garden. Fortunately, we eat them daily and cook with them too, so who knows how many we really need.

  • Roberta

    We roast them (cut in half, drizzle with olive oil, roast on low heat until they smell like heaven) and freeze them, because I’m nervous of canning them wrong and killing my family. Add a bit of fresh oregano or basil when you begin and it’s just that much better. In the winter, we just thaw a bag full and toss them in whatever- the skins are still there, so it’s not a good process if that would annoy you, but I found that most of them got eaten without being noticed.

    • Suzanne

      Roberta, I don’t know if you have the *desire* to can or not, but tomatoes, because they’re so acidic, do not require a pressure cooker to can. As long as they seal, they’re safe.

      • melissa

        Interestingly, they are only borderline acidic. You don’t need to pressure can them, but you are supposed to if you add anything at all to them (even spices, salt or sugar). I do hot water bath can mine and I also add a lot of stuff – with no adverse effects, but the canning gurus and national health standards do recommend pressure canning them. Just a note for those who are more cautious than I!

  • andreajennine

    Whoa! My eyes bugged when I read 8-10 plants per person. That’s madness! We did 9 plants (3 cherry, 6 larger variety), which I have found in past years to be just enough for 2 adults plus some to give away to neighbors. I haven’t preserved them, but I’ve also been told about freezing them whole; supposedly, the peels come off fairly easily when thawed.

  • vic cowan

    Tomatoes freeze very well – all you do is wash and dry them, put them in the freezer and freeze them individually on a cookie sheet,- After they are frozen put them in freezer bags – that way they don`t stick together and are easy to use ( one or two at a time). When you want to use them put them in hot water – the skins slip off and you can use them as you would canned . Make wonderful tomato sauce.

    Grapes – perhaps they have had too much water?

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