The beginning of the summer I picked up two spindly, sad little Roma Tomato plants at Sutherland’s. They were planning on throwing them away so they sold them to me for .50 cents. I figured at that price even if they didn’t make it, it was worth a try. I really didn’t expect them to make it. This summer was busy. We built a deck by ourselves…a 6 foot off the ground deck, replaced all the windows, replaced the siding, had the house painted, built a retaining wall, took out a massive tree and it’s stump, leveled the front yard out and moved in more dirt, planted grass seed, built a shed, and potting table, along with a few other small projects…so yeah, I didn’t really do a lot with the garden. But the tomatoes didn’t seem to care that I wasn’t doing anything with them besides the occasional watering. They got huge! The picture above is just from the last crop I picked before our first hard freeze. For a good two and a half months I was easily picking 15-20 tomatoes everyday. We had them in salads, we gave them to neighbors and family. I canned 6 jars of marinara sauce, 5 jars of Roasted Garlic sauce, 4 jars of spaghetti sauce, 3 jars of salsa, 4 jars of Sun Dried Tomatoes and the tomatoes just kept coming. Definitely an incredible return on my . 50 cent investment! When we got our first freeze the tomatoes were still coming in full force. There were tons that were still green though…very green. I didn’t want to waste them and I don’t have much luck getting the very green ones to ripen inside so I went looking for a good recipe to use them in. I found one on Cook With Lindsey for La Victoria Green Taco Sauce (a much loved sauce in our house). It was so easy to do!
She didn’t give exact measurements. To be honest I didn’t keep track of mine either, but I just kept testing it until it seemed right (darn LOL). I canned 8 jars of Green Taco Sauce. I had lots of red ones too from the last crop and waited a couple days for some almost red ones to ripen and then I made the equivalent of 3 more jars of spaghetti sauce. I was planning on Spaghetti for dinner that week already, and I made a freezer lasagna so I didn’t can it.
Gardening is a wonderful way to keep grocery costs down. Yes Spaghetti sauce is cheap most of the time, but I made some fancy sauce that you would spend a lot more on at the store. Plus mine isn’t filled with ingredients you can’t pronounce. The same goes for the Green Taco Sauce (that stuff isn’t cheap). There is an initial investment for canning supplies and jars (I found most of mine at the local Thrift Store or on clearance at the end of the fall season), but once you have jars they can be reused and getting lids is inexpensive. I figure I have enough tomato based sauces, salsa and taco sauce to last at least 6 months! Just in time for warm weather again and more tomatoes. I’ll definitely be getting Roma Tomatoes from Sutherland’s again!
Other recipes I used on the tomatoes in case you are curious:
And the Link for the Taco Sauce again