It’s Been a Good Year

For tomatoes, it’s been a great year!  I don’t have a green thumb and I’m allergic to tomato plants.  I’m ok with tomatoes but if I touch the plants, I break out in a rash.  I used to could wear a long sleeve shirt and gloves and be ok but not this year.  Almost walking in the garden and not even coming into contact with the tomatoes results in a rash so Vince has become the designated tomato picker.

Yesterday I spent a wonderful day sewing with a friend on her farm in a very isolated, rural area.  No neighbors, no dogs barking, no cars going buy . . just wide open spaces of very well maintained farm land . . many, many acres.  It was wonderful.  I could have stayed there and never left.

When I got home, I was tired.   The goofy thought that I might get to bed early passed through my head.  Vince said “Should I pick tomatoes tonight?”  I said yes because we didn’t pick on Wednesday and did pick very closely on Tuesday.  He came in with over 70 pounds of tomatoes.  This is about one quarter of them.

I stayed up til after 2 a.m. and only canned 14 quarts, the dehydrator is full and you can bet all day today, I’ll be canning tomatoes.  It has to be done while they’re ripe . . can’t spread it out over the next month.  Lots of work now but it will be worth it to have them all winter.


  1. 1


    my tomato plants have crapped out….I think the guy at the farmers market lied to me…they aren’t much bigger then cherry tomatoes…grrrrrrrr…

  2. 2

    Trish says

    I like hearing about your garden. Can you tell me how many tomato plants you have to get that many tomatoes? p.s. I would love to see a picture of the garden, to give me an idea of how you have it set up!! Yes, I am asking for pictures…lol.. I have a garden, but work full time, It is hard to keep ahead of the weeds!

  3. 3


    I have that same tomato plant allergy……you’re the first one I “met” who also has it. YIKES….having to face 70 lbs. of tomatoes late at night would have had me crying, but you are the WOMAN….you rise to all these challenges!!! LOL You are right, though, it will be very worthwhile when you are using them in the winter!!!

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    pdudgeon says

    looks like you’ve picked the right year to start your garden!
    so glad that Vince is helping out with the picking, as a rash is no fun!

  5. 5


    Beautiful harvest! We have lots on the vine, but no hints of red – yet. I don’t have enough plants to have anywhere near this yield, but I am hoping to get some into sauce for the winter…. and will supplement with some from the farmers market if needed. But not at 2 AM! 🙂

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    Looks like someone is going to have shelves full of red goodness! I keep talking to mine and I think they are starting to listen when I say it’s time to turn red. Who ever is talking to your is saying sweet things…..maybe I should be a bit nicer. 🙂

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    Donna in KS says

    This was to be a tomato canning year for me. Had done so many and did not use up so gave tomatoes away to everybody last year. Husband’s crop this year has been poor; he is upset (to put it mildly!!). One of his juliet plants looks great, blooms, has not produced a single fruit! He can’t figure it out. We are getting enough to eat, but to can….no! What makes the difference? getting cucumbers and squash, blackberries and sandplums in abundance.

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    I also get a rash from the vines….so my DH picks also. Good look with the bumper crop and just can until you run out of jars…..When we had enough we used to put grocery bags of tomatoes by our mailbox with a sign and people used to drive out just to get tomatoes and when we got sick of picking we pulled up the vines.

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    ohhhhhh….tomatoes. I thought you were tossing it all in! LOL.

    glen: mumble, mumble…..glad it is only tomatoes

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    The sewing day in the country sounds so wonderful and peaceful. I can close my eyes and see the country. I don’t rash and itch from tomato plants – strawberry plants do it to me! I’d love to see a picture of your filed shelves with all the canned goods on them.

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    Have you ever made or even heard of tomato gravy? We used to have it all the time when I was a kid and my Granma still lived in a house with a garden. It was wonderful!!! All I remember is that she said it took her a long to make because you cook the tomatoes and then strain and drain and cook and strain and drain. But the end result was a lovely deep pink ‘gravy’ that was almost like a condensed tomato soup. The way you served it was butter bread, then add slices of colby cheese (I think it was colby, but it was definitely sliced from a brick) and then you spoon the gravy on it. Then, more buttered bread, cheese and gravy.

    Oh it was marvelous!!! Granma told my aunt that she was going to make it for me this year, but she is out of town right now. I will have to see if I can get the recipe…. 🙂

    • 11.1


      Ahhhh….growing up italian and in new orleans we still have tomato gravy. Only it is what the rest of the world calls Meatballs and spagetti, chicken spagetti, porkchops and spagetti…… get the picture.

      glen: and they wonder why I am fat……

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    Wow! You weren’t kidding about it being a good year for tomatoes. This is our first year trying to really garden. We planted late so the three tomato plants that survived my black thumb are only now starting to flower. We do have a bunch of zucchini growing though. Good luck with all the canning today!

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    Carla says

    I also have a tomato plant allergy. (I always thought I was the only one) I brake out as if it’s poison Ivy, large blister like itchy bobbles.
    When we grew tomatoes years ago my girls would pick them for me. I can’t even touch the tomatoes in the store that are on the vine with out braking out.
    I wish we were able to have a garden, but we have ground hogs and opossums lining in our yard.
    Here in Ma were not aloud trap them, to relocate them,or harm them in any way.
    We were told if we fenced in an area for a garden we would have to dig down a foot or so and put fence under the garden to keep to keep the gofers from digging under the fence to get to the veggies and roots.
    On thing most people do realize is ground hogs can also climb. I have see one climb a tree to get to the leaves for lunch.
    Maybe next year I can get hubby to fence in a area so we can have a garden. There’s nothing like fresh veggies.
    We have a crab apple tree in our yard, but I have never tried making crab apple jelly. Maybe after I make blueberry jam next week I’ll try the crab apple jelly when the apples are ripe.

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    Kathy C says

    We had such a cold, rainy spring here in the NW, I only have 3 tomatoes on my 8 plants. Oh the plants are huge, but since tomatoes only set fruit above a certain temperature, no luck so far. It is supposed to be 93 tomorrow so here’s hoping.
    Wish I lived closer to you, I would take a few lbs. of tomatoes off your hands.

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    ruth anne says

    i planted at least 15 plants and only have enough to eat, make salsa, bake but not to can. I don’t know what i am doing wrong. Some of the plants look just dead (yellowed, dried up and dead) LOL Some of them look great.

    • 16.1

      Trish says

      Maybe more water. I never realized how much water tomatoes like. And fertilizer. I had the best tomatoes when Daughter raised Rabbits.

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    Carol says

    So far I only have green tomatoes. But at least the plants look great and I haven’t seen signs of the fungus that keeps killing them off when the plants are producing ripe fruit. I’ve had bumper crops of tomatoes before but I can’t image canning 70 lbs. of tomatoes in one session. Wow, Judy you’re amazing.
    Sorry to hear about your tomato plant allergy. I was talking to a waitress about my mold spore allergy and she told me about her sugar derivatives allergy.

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    neen says

    Judy, Man, you are one busy lady!!

    I was wondering what kind of food dehydrator you have and if you recommend it? Or, since using it, would you prefer another brand, kind, size, or motor wattage?

    I’m looking into them and have 1-2 I’m staring blankly at (having had nothing to do with dehydrating food before) but would love imput from someone who has a working knowledge of them.

    Also, how long is an average time it takes to dehydrate the food in one?

    Thanks for any help you can give me, Judy.