When it is full-on tomato harvest season at our organic farm in Central Italy and we've eaten tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, it's time to start preserving them for winter so we can enjoy their deep rich flavors long after the garden is gone.
Last year, we scaled it back a bit and had only a couple hundred plants in about 12 varieties, each day yielding kilos of fresh ripe juicy pomodori prime for the picking. Endless meals were devoured with that harvest of tomatoes, their flavors as diverse as their names; ranging from the classics like San Marzano, beefsteak, and cherry tomatoes to rare heirlooms such as the egg yolk, Ukrainian pink pear, zebra, and my favorite: the black princess.
Doctor Gaggi and Jason planted the majority of the rows last May using starters from our dear friends Beppe and Caroline, and then we had two days of heavy frost which killed our entire production. Luckily, we had wonderful guests from Texas in town and they all chipped in and helped us replant the garden. Jason spent the time last spring to painstakingly trim back the plant's leaves giving the fruit plenty of sun. And boy did they get sun! After one of the hottest summers on record and near-drought conditions, the tomatoes were plump, warm, and ready to be jarred. Click through the slideshow to see our simple jarring process.
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