My garden has derailed my life. The weather heated up and the plants have gone from strolling along in their growth to a flat-out sprint to see which one of them can develop and ripen the most vegetables or fruit. Even my watermelon plant, which has been so sad and lethargic, has suddenly taken off.
Which means it’s canning season for me. Two days ago, it was Salsa Verde and using up all the ripe tomatillos out there.
Today it was cucumbers for eating and pickling. While I was out picking cucumbers, a handful of tomatoes waived frantically at me. So I picked those as well.
That brings me to my tomato conundrum.
I planted eight tomato plants this year and watered the majority of the volunteer tomatoes which came up quite a bit later. I thought, since the volunteers were late in showing, they wouldn’t produce much. Wrong!
Now I have thirty plants and 95% of them are loaded down with tomatoes. The volunteers are mostly small, like three times the size of cherry tomatoes, but the plants are covered in them. I have no concept how many pounds of tomatoes are out there.
Right now it’s just the first wave of tomatoes which are ripe, the early varieties. But in a few weeks, all those green ones are going to be red and I will be up to my earlobes in them.
To solve the conundrum of what to do with them, I'm going to experiment with recipes. I might even try making my own ketchup—maybe. I've only been canning for a couple of years, so this will definitely be stretching me out of my comfort zone.
Wish me luck.