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Sprouts is a terrific source for certified organic seeds intended for home sprouting. Dress up salads, stir-fry, sandwiches, spreads, and other dishes with homegrown sprouts of all kinds. Follow this link to order your sampler or to find home sprouting kits.


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Canning Tomatoes at Your Small Kitchen Garden

On my way to canning, I peeled nearly a peck of tomatoes on Sunday. This is the first batch: about 23 tomatoes stacked in a one-gallon food-storage container

Late blight has wiped out the tomato plants in my small kitchen garden. I managed to serve up about six tomato salads and can eleven and a half pints of cut-up tomatoes before the blight shut things down. This wasn’t enough.

I have planted more than 50 plants, hoping to harvest enough fruits to put up three or four dozen pints of cut-up tomatoes along with a dozen or more pints of tomato sauce. Had the plants survived until frost, they’d have produced way more tomatoes than necessary to fill those jars.

Farmers’ Market to Assuage a Kitchen Gardener

I use a lot of cut-up tomatoes in my cooking. So, at the famers’ market last Wednesday, I shopped for tomatoes. I found three options:

  • Kobe Beefsteaks—Gorgeous and super-expensive, these tomatoes must have been hand-fed and massaged daily… absolutely perfect-looking and priced way beyond the budgets of mere mortals.
  • Romas—Several vendors offered pecks of Roma tomatoes that would be decent for saucing, but sauce is a secondary concern this year. I still have about 24 pint jars of sauce from last season, so this season I want to put up more pints of tomato chunks.
  • Canning tomatoes—What, I wondered, is a “canning tomato?” One vendor offered a peck of canning tomatoes for $20 while another offered a peck for $8. The tomatoes looked identical but it didn’t occur to me to ask what variety these were.

After paying $8 and dragging my canning tomatoes home, I decided that they were locally-grown “Vine Ripe” tomatoes. There are, apparently, many tomato varieties the industry calls “vine ripe,” but you’re probably most familiar with the ones you find year-round in grocery stores. They never get soft and they taste bland. My canning tomatoes were firm and they looked perfect—exactly what you’d want to display in a grocery store to impress your customers.

I spent half the day on Sunday canning tomato chunks. Please follow this link for the step-by-step of how to can tomato chunks.

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