Category Archives: Tomatoes

You’ll Never Guess How Much Food I Grew in 2014!

Drum roll, please! Last year, on my powerhouse of a lot (only 4,000 square feet), I grew 172 pounds of organic produce!!! And all the single ladies laid 29 1/2 dozen eggs! Isn’t that mind-boggling?! I am as proud as an urban farm girl can be!

Here are some of the things I’m most proud of:

donationsI donated 10 pounds of food to the food bank. I was under the 10% goal I was hoping for, but it added something to someone’s meals and that makes me happy.

46230_727250547313877_9143299375650060489_nI harvested (and ate and canned) 22 pounds of strawberries! Turns out strawberries are the second largest producer on my urban farm. The most delicious ground cover ever!!!

10557300_751268454912086_1498603141024872937_nI totally met my tomato-growing goal with 52 pounds of ripe red tomatoes! My total yield was 71 pounds if you include the green ones, which I used! So, why not count those babies too?!

10154325_688862607819338_8938740373409317194_nI always add one new element to the farm each year. Last year, I added to aeroponic Tower Gardens, which I used almost exclusively for growing salad greens (I grew my tomatillos in them too – just over 9 pounds of them!). I was able to harvest 22 pounds of greens from my towers last year! Seriously, Eric and I would go out to the towers with our salad bowls and harvest huge bowls of salad that we’d eat almost daily. Best investment I’ve made in a long time!

I can hardly wait to see what abundance 2015 holds! I’m so grateful for this little farm!

First_GardenWant to see how I make it happen? Join me for a class at the Urban Farm Schoolhouse and I’ll let you in on my tricks of the trade! I’ve come along way from this one raised bed where I started and I’ve love every minute of it!

chalkClick here to come grow with me!

Blend It Up: Easy Roasted Tomatillo Salsa!

tomatillos2I came home from work yesterday to face 6 pounds of tomatillos on the counter. And when life gives me tomatillos, I make roasted tomatillo salsa! This salsa has become my favorite way to use the tomatillos that have been growing like gangbusters, one because it is super delicious and two because it is ridiculously easy to throw together in the blender. If you have tons of tomatillos like me that you need to process, make some of this salsa without the avocado, freeze it, and use it later for enchiladas or chicken chilaquiles!

tomatillosRoasted Tomatillo Salsa

Makes just under 1 quart of salsa

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
1 jalapeño
juice of 1/2 of a lime
1/4 onion, minced
1/4 – 1/2 avocado
salt to taste

Method:

Roasting tomatillos is super easy and adds a little extra flavor to the salsa. Simply put the tomatillos and jalapeño on a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Broil for a few minutes or until brown char spots start to appear. Flip the tomatillos and jalapeño and lightly char the other side. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Cut the stem off the jalapeño and cut the pepper in half.

Now comes the easy part! Place the tomatillos, jalapeño*, lime juice, avocado, and salt in the blender and puree until smooth. Add the onion and pulse a few times to incorporate – don’t puree the onion though. Transfer the salsa to a serving dish alongside a big bowl of chips and share with your friends. Enjoy!

*If you want some heat, put the entire jalapeño (sans stem) with the seeds into the blender. For a little less heat, first remove the seeds from one or both halves and add the jalapeño to the blender for flavor. 

My Favorite Tomatoes

Here it is – the annual 30 day countdown til spring! From now until the first day of spring, I will post ways to make the dreary days of midwinter a little more merry. Click the “Midwinter Merriment” category button on the right to see more merry things.

photoTomatoes are probably my favorite thing to grow. I love the challenge of growing them in this climate. I love trying to exceed the previous year’s harvest totals. I love using every trick and tool in my gardening bag of tricks to create the most optimal environment I can for these little gems. Growing tomatoes makes my inner garden nerd shine.

Over the past four years now, I have collected seeds from my homegrown heirloom tomatoes and sown them in my garden the following spring. I can’t tell you how much joy it brings me to tear open my own envelop of homegrown seeds. It’s some kind of magic. I usually try and grow a new variety every year, but I most definitely have some trusty favorites that will likely always have a place in my tomato bed. Here are my go-to heirlooms:

  • Stupice (hands down my earliest and most productive variety)
  • San Marzanos
  • Jean Flame (I’d grow these gems for their color alone!)
  • Cherokee Purple

What are your must-have tomato varieties?

Want to learn all my tried and true tomato-growing strategies? Sign up for my popular class, Tons of Tomatoes! It’s filling up fast! Click here for details and registration!

Produce by the Pound: September

photo (1)More than celebrating the actual poundage of food I harvested last month, I am giving myself a hearty pat on the back for harvesting or cooking anything at all. September hit me like a truck and I consider it a miracle that I actually harvested some food, did some garden cleanup that was way over do and even got some fall and overwintering seeds sown. It feels like a bigger accomplishment than winning a blue ribbon. As much as I love being out in my garden, I am grateful that the rain is watering my seed beds and that my to-do list is wrapping up. I think both my garden and I could use a little time to recharge.

I managed to get a pretty decent newsletter sent out for the month of October. This month, I shared my current favorite kale salad! I’d invite you to check it out. Better yet, sign up and get it for free, delivered to your inbox every month! It’d be my pleasure!

September 2013 – Produce Tally:

Personal Consumption –

Kale – 1 lb 2 oz
Beets/beet greens – 2 oz
Rhubarb – 1 lb 4oz
Radhishes – 1 lb 2 oz
Tomatoes – 9 lbs 8 oz
Carrots – 1 lb 6 oz
Garlic – 8 oz

Eggs – 13 (Molt much, ladies?)

Total produce harvested during the month of September: 15 lbs

Total food bank donations for the year: 9 lbs

Grand Total for 2013 (as of October 1):

Approximately 107 lbs, 2 oz and about 28 dozen eggs

Check out the first post in this series here.