Thursday, September 16, 2010
15 quarts plus dinner!
I bought 2 cases of tomatoes from the Farmer's Market and was given a few more tomatoes by my sister in law.From this I got 16 quarts of tomato sauce (one broke :( so 15). $24 a case for organic tomatoes,8 quarts or so per case of thin sauce. $3 per quart. Not fantastic, but still cheaper than store-bought. I would like to can 30 more quarts this year so to reduce the costs I am going to look into U-pick, (http://www.pickyourown.org/)and can all the juice too.I think I could have had at least 4 quarts or so of juice for broth because squeezing out all the seeds and juice was MESSY! I just squeezed them into the compost bucket with the skins. Next time I'll squeeze them over a bowl or pot and just strain out the seeds.Can chickens can eat tomatoes? That would save a bit on chicken feed. (Update-Yes! They can!)
Next year I plan on making either a little hoop house or open-sided greenhouse for tomatoes and basil to provide a little extra heat. Washington summers are usually not long and hot enough for them.I have some old shower doors for a roof (maybe use pallets for the sides?)and some bamboo and clear plastic for a hoop house.Check out this cost analysis on canning your own sauce.