While Dad and I were out picking tomatoes this morning, I kept noticing how tall each plant was. Mind you, I’m nearly 6-foot-tall, and the plants were above my head. It was no surprise when I measured a plant that it stands SEVEN feet tall.
Big tomato plants produce big tomatoes. I know it’s not fair to this poor lil’ golf ball, but it was the only thing I could find to compare size. Someone said the other day, we’re gonna need bigger bread for BLT sandwiches!!!!!
The setup for processing the “garden goodies” is top-notch. Dad had this table custom-built to mount the electric drill-driven processor and two large holes cut through the top. Underneath the table, on a shelf, two buckets sit under the holes. One is for the discard (peelings) and the other is for juice.
Here, Kelby is filling the hopper (or bowl) on top and Dad is using a paddle to push the tomatoes into the grinder. The juice and small bits of pulp pour into a bucket and the large pieces of pulp and tomato skins fall into the other bucket. Afterwards, we repeat the process with the “discard” bucket once more. Surprisingly, another five (5) gallons of juice is yielded.
That was my cue to stop taking pictures and resume production.
There’s a no-tolerance policy ’round here for unproductive workers. Most of the time, they’re sent to town to pick-up lunch or restock the beverage cooler. Sometimes both.
Pickling salt is added, plus an occasional tablespoon (or three) of jalapeno relish for extra seasoning. If Dad is cooking, you can bet there are jalapenos nearby. The juice is brought to a slow boil for several minutes before Mason jars are filled. It’s important to have jars, lids, and bands already cleaned.
Bloody Mary’s, here I come.
Vegetable soup and chili, here I come.
Open a jar and insert straw, here I come.
In a few more days, we’ll repeat the process all over again. In the 10 years Mom and Dad have had this garden, I’ve never seen tomato plants like these. The vines are thick and strong, thanks to some special treatment from The Farm, and the quantity is unbelievable. I’ll be eating lots and lots of BLTs while I’m here ….. but I do need bigger pieces of bread!!!!!