Suggestions on a Bumper Crop of Tomatoes?

It occurred to me yesterday as I again picked enough tomatoes to fill a gigantic bowl that I’ve neglected to update you on Our First Garden.

We really should call it Clint’s First Garden, as right after we got it planted, the morning sickness hit me like a ton of bricks, so Clint was left to the garden-tending. And, to be fair, the everything else-tending. It wasn’t until relatively recently that I became at all useful around here again, so I’ve pulled some weeds. Made some pesto. Fried some kale. Baked some chocolate-zucchini bread. I’m trying.

Right now, the gardeny matter at hand is tomatoes. We’ve been so lucky with all of our bushes, as the photo up top there attests. Those came from our garden. In October. And they aren’t the last of ‘em.

Surprisingly, we’ve been able to keep up with the bumper crop quite well. We all love tomatoes, and most of them have just gone, raw, straight into our mouths. But a few have made it into sauces, stirfrys, salads and sandwiches (woot-woot, BLTs!), and of course we’ve passed some on to our poor tomatoless neighbors and friends. I have a recipe lined up for the green ones, but I’m still looking for the right (and, ideally, easy) way to treat a few ripe ones, so that we can continue this crazy tomatofest on into the winter. Suggestions? If it helps, most are cherry-like and some are Roma-ish.

As for everything else? Highlights: Zucchini, kale, collards, basil and parsley, which all grew like champs. Lowlights: Scant, bland melons; sparse broccoli and beans; celery. Jury’s still out on the brussel sprouts, which should be ready to harvest soon here, I’m assuming?

Verdict: We’ll do it again next year in similar, with just a few tweaks on crop selection and placement.

Aaaand then there’s the chicken coop. A few have asked if it’s still a plan? It is. We’ve done our research, including going on the Twin Cities Chicken Coop Tour (awesome). Clint’s amassed enough job-site scraps to build a chicken mansion, complete with multifacted trim and ornate corbels. But he’s busy tricking out out the interior of our home before the baby arrives, so our dreams of chicken ownership are on hold until time permits. Not sure when I think that time will magically appear, but I’m hoping spring-ish.

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  1. by Eve

    On October 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    We stew the tomatoes down and either freeze or can them. Not that hard once you give it a try.

    Build the coop! If you need suggestions send us an email. We have built two hen wagons that house 250+ birds each. Eric kept back yard birds for a number of years.

    Oh, no melons. We have never had success. We focus on edible pumpkins. Great in the fall!

  2. by Amy Palanjian

    On October 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    We have bags of tomatoes, whole, in the freezer to use in soups and stews during the winter. We had crazy high volume of them this summer and couldn’t quite keep up. I made a fresh sauce the other night- sauteed until not so liquidy in olive oil and garlic)- and that used a bowlful and was very tasty. Chicken coop!

  3. by Berit Thorkelson

    On October 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I knew I could count on your for this one, Eve!

  4. by Heather

    On October 23, 2011 at 9:32 am

  5. by Berit Thorkelson

    On October 23, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Awesome. Thanks, Heather!

  6. by Berit Thorkelson

    On October 24, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Amy: bags in the freezer, you say? That sounds too easy. Just my style. Done.