Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Tomatoes Three Ways and Seed Potatoes July 18, 2010

I’m on the fence about planting a Fall Tomato crop, because of the pestilence from the now ending Spring tomato season.  It is a major annoyance and so destructive to have so many stink bugs and leaf foots.  But, nothing compares to a fresh tomato, and that is pretty compelling.  The difference in a fresh and store bought tomato is so obvious to me now, I’ve been eating around tomatoes in restaurants that don’t taste homegrown.

So, I’ve been processing my own garden tomatoes to make them last. Last night, I made a cooked sauce, with onions and garlic, and froze it, for later, when we can’t get or grow tomatoes.

Cooking tomatoes for sauce

Simmering them down

Smooth Tomato Sauce

I processed the cooked tomatoes with the emulsion blender, for a smooth sauce.  It is totally unseasoned, for now.  I can season it when I use it this winter.  It is in the freezer.

Today, I went to the HOPE Farmer’s Market to look for lettuce.   Much to my surprise, there was Ben from Salt and Time – I had forgotten he was at that market, and I hadn’t been there for a while.  Johnson’s Backyard Gardens had loads of San Marzano Tomatoes still, so I bought 2 boxes full to split with my serious pizza making friendChristian. I decided to process most of these raw, and began running them through the food mill.

Box-o- San Marzano Tomatoes

So, a couple or three hours working them through the food mill, and I think I’m set for winter.

Raw San Marzano Sauce

The few tomatoes I have yet to process are going to be run through the food processor with a pepper or two, and maybe a bit of cucumber, salt and pepper, and will be a Bloody Mary before this day is over.  I”m feeling pretty good about the state of tomatoes.

A bit of exciting garden news – I’ve been looking for seed potatoes all over, to plant in a couple of weeks for a winter crop.  I have not had much luck, but today, I found Yukon Gold potatoes at Johnson’s Backyard Garden and have them stored in a cool dry place until time to plant.  No potato grow bags this time around, these have a reserved spot in the garden.


4 Responses to “Tomatoes Three Ways and Seed Potatoes”

  1. Heidi Says:

    Hi There-
    I read your blog all the time, and thoroughly enjoy it, so I thought I’d stop by and introduce myself. I live in South Austin with goats, chickens, tomatoes, earthworms and whatever else I can get to grow.
    Thanks for sharing all your ideas. It is such fun to read about what like-minded folk are doing so close by.
    -Heidi Sloan

    • Hey Heidi! Carla here. I’m not sure it says that anywhere in my blog. Thanks for reading about my little adventures, and misadventures – I’m doing the best I can at becoming my grandmother! I’m having a lot of fun and learning so much. I wish I was to the point of having chickens and goats, but I have a difficult neighbor for chickens, and I’m fairly certain I can’t have goats here. Some day, I’ll have a farm with all manner of beasts, a tractor and a big barn. Until then, here I am, and I’m glad you are here too! Thanks for the comment. It means a lot when someone takes time out of their day to send a note, it really does.

  2. chileylimon Says:

    Hey Carla! I also have been looking for seed potatoes to no avail, it seems that most nurseries consider potatoes a spring only crop. Have you grown them for winter before? I really want to plant more, I found they were easy and soooooo rewarding!
    I also saw a miracle tool in central Texas Gardener: a stink bug vacuum! They have them at Natural Gardener, I am going to get one and let you know…

    • A stink bug vacuum? I’m so getting one. I have not grown a Fall crop of potatoes before, but plan to plant them around the first of August. Johnson’s Backyard Garden is doing the same, and the Agricultural Extension Agent says you can plant the entire month of August, so I’m gonna give it a shot.

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