Wednesday, July 29, 2009

giant tomato

we got a huge amish paste tomato. it was so large i decided to save seed from it.

these seeds will be added to the omelay christmas seed mailer.

we canned more tomatoes today.

scooping into the cooked tomatoes.

pouring them into the jars.

this is a specialized jar lifter.

it can also provide endless hours of entertainment for small children.

going into the show canner.

this baby holds fifteen quarts.

we canned twenty six more quarts of tomatoes today. we didn't get the second batch of green tomato salsa done yet. regular tomatoes take precedence over all other canning. the green tomatoes will hold for another day. i took the day off tomorrow to get a little ahead on this canning business.

i went down and got eleven bales of hay to be sure the cows have plenty of hay laying around while we are gone to st. louis. we'll have to keep the cows confined to the inner paddocks while we are gone. the outer paddocks are electric fence only.

i have decided to use my existing used steel to re-roof the garage and adjoining pantry. this will give me the opportunity to get those roofs completed much less expensively. furthermore, i'll get a little more experience before i attempt the complex roof lines of the main house. i also plan to extend the roof of the utility room to include a solar storage tank and water heater addition. i have decided on an entirely new design for my solar storage based on newly acquired materials.

with all this canning we have been clearing out the pump-house of canning jars. it will soon be empty enough that i'll light a fire under my arse to tear off and put the new roof on the thing. it needs better insulation. i have most of the stuff to do it. i just need the time. although that opens a whole other can of worms. the pump house roof will provide partial support of my solar hot water collectors.

solar facts; at our latitude 37°, during equinox the altitude of the sun is 53°, during the winter solstice the angle of the sun is roughly 29°. if my solar collectors were angled to optimize for winter solstice they would have to be sticking up at a 61° angle. i have double the square footage of collectors i need for the size tank i have.
to even out my solar gain for domestic hot water i should angle my collectors to optimize for the winter months. during the summer months a trash can filled with water will stay above bathing temperature.

just some thoughts to help me figure everything out.


It's me ...Mavis said...

I just made my first batch of homegrown salsa last night and can't wait to get started on tomato sauce. I was thinking about canning 52 quarts (1 quart a week) but your family is inspiring me to go for double that. Your blog is an inspiration......

Maria said...

WOW! That's a fantastic amount of tomatoes!! I just picked my first few this week. They are just coming in. I didn't realize we had such a difference in temperature/weather. What zone are you in? I'm 6b here in the mountains of NC.

Jason said...

What is your recipe for the green tomato salsa? I have a bunch of green ones since I was having to snatch them from the bugs before they were ripe. Just wondering if there is something feasible I can do with all these buggers.

Ron said...

Wow, that is one MASSIVE tomato. All meat too, very nice.

That's one massive canner too. :)

Congrats, it's a good feeling to put full jars on the shelf.


karl said...

mavis, this winter you really appreciate having the stores. in an effort to keep the heat out of the kitchen during summer canning season. we are just putting the tomatoes up as quickly as possible--plain. we'll season them for sauces and dinner the night we cook them when the heat from the stove is appreciated.

maria, 6b also. we are canning a couple of weeks earlier than most others in our area. the greenhouse, beautiful compost and tabitha's gardening prowess were some of the contributing factors. don't discount luck, that is the largest factor of them all.

jason, i think that i linked to susan's post containing the recipe a post or two back. here it is again. i should have linked to it from this post also, sorry.

ron, i played a little trick on YOU. that egg is the smallest pullet egg i have ever seen. the tomato is really huge but not nearly as the photo suggests. we had our first pasta with sauce from our own garden last night. it was unbelievable. this will be a glorious winter.

Kymber said...

everything looks great! i am very happy that you are getting so much food canned and stored for winter!
i have tons of tomatoes on the bushes - just waiting for enough sun to start the ripening process! this year will be our first year canning any of the food we grow (we live in the city) but we are very excited by blogs like yours and Ron's - they have really helped us to learn more about growing and preserving your own food! so thanks!

Debi said...

That is one awesome looking tomato. Some fresh bread, a little mayo and you've got a great sandwich in the making.
Love your canner too.

Lucky Lizard Ranch said...

That is SOME tomato! Good golly, with tomatoes that size you only need one bush!
Congrats on your bounty!!

jenny said...

Oh! You are making me drool with that tomato! I just checked our toms and they are all still green! One is showing a little promise though, just starting to turn a little. I may gobble that one up right off the vine!

We have one of those specialized jar lifters, too. Half the time it is never where I left it.

Beau said...

Twenty six quarts! Wow...that is awesome. Nice going- must feel great. Just getting started here :)

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