Canning Tomatoes from the Produce Auction

This past week has been filled with…Tomatoes!

My tomatoes did not produce well at all this year. We started them from seed and they looked so beautiful and then we planted them in the garden boxes. Their leaves began to curl and they just wouldn’t grow. I knew it was something in our boxes because the tomatoes that we gave to my mom were doing great.

Faithful Homestead Spaghetti Sauce Jars

Interestingly enough, I believe that we had the same issue as Jill over at The Prairie Homestead.  Some of the compost we got to fill our boxes came from someone who uses Grazon on many of his hay fields. I never gave it a thought that it would cause issues in our garden. Lesson learned.

Because of the tomato growing issues we were WAY behind on canning tomatoes. So the kids and I went to a wholesale produce auction last week and purchased 140 lbs. of tomatoes. Some of the seven boxes we purchased were graded as small #2’s while others were considered canners. These grades are considerably cheaper than the #1 tomatoes. The boxes cost $8 each.

We canned 9 quart tomato juice, 11 quart salsa, and 36 quart spaghetti sauce from those tomatoes. The tomatoes ended up costing about $1.00/canned quart. Of course with the salsa and spaghetti, we had other ingredient costs as well. I am satisfied with that. Certainly, it would have been nice to have had my own tomatoes but we will have to look forward to those next year.

I would still like to put up some more tomatoes if we get the chance, but I am super thankful for all that we were able to put up. Who knows, maybe we will find time to go to the produce auction one more time this season.






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