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Harvesting Tomatoes

Picking tomatoes is fun to do with the kids! They can be picked ripe, which is when you get a bright/deep red and when pressing on the flesh gently it gives. You can also pick them when they are not quite ripe, and let them ripen on the counter a few days. Once you have your tomatoes all picked, it is time to make saucy goodness!

Spaghetti Sauce

What you need:

large stock pot

medium stock pot

cutting board



strainer with wooden pestle


large pot for waterbathing

jar lifter

pot rack for jars

jars + rings + lids


24 lb. ripe tomatoes

citric acid

3 cups chopped onions

6 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

2 Tbsp. sugar

3 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. parsley

1 Tbsp. basil

2 tsp. ground mustard

1 Tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

5 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce


1. Fill your sink with warm water and tomatoes, let soak for 20 min. to rinse off any dirt, grass, particles etc.  Chop onions and place in a skillet with oil and minced garlic. Cook medium until cooked through. 

2. Slice tomatoes and cut off, discarding any imperfections. Place tomatoes and onions/garlic in a large stock pot and cook on medium low for 2 hours. May use a potatoes masher when first in the pot to release juices. Stir occasionally to prevent scourging on the bottom. 

3. Ladle tomatoes into a blender until 3/4 full. Blend. Pour into strainer set over large mixing bowl. With the wooden pestle strain the seeds and skins. Place strained tomato sauce into a medium stock pot. Repeat all of step three until all the tomatoes have been strained. 

4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the sauce and heat on low for 2 hours, until sauce is reduced to desired thickness.  Be sure to taste sauce with a clean spoon to adjust the sugar and salt as needed.

5. While it is reducing, prepare your jars and lids. Keeping them hot, add 1/4 tsp. citric acid to pint jars, or 1/2 tsp. citric acid to quart jars. Lade sauce into jars with 1 inch headspace. Clean tops and place lids and rings on, sealing tight. Hot water bath for 35 min. Let stand in water 5 min after the bath, then take them out on a toweled counter to cool. Once cooled completely, store!

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