|Home grown and frozen tomatoes, hard like little red canon balls|
Today has been lovely - a bit cold and windy but it was sunny. My spirits were lifted when I grabbed a bag of tomatoes from the freezer. You heard me right - the freezer - my little scarlet canon balls. Now my family don't all like fresh tomatoes, unfortunately, so for years I didn't grow them, then I had a brainwave, we do like alot of food with tomatoes in them (spaghetti, chilli, pizza). Why not grow them purely for cooking? Brilliant!! Now I don't always have brilliant brain waves but this one I was quite chuffed with.
I grew the tomatoes to try to cut down on our food shopping - by freezing them I can use them through the year. I don't do faffing - I'm too busy (no peeling, no chopping, no deskin-ing, no putting in vinegar, or brine) I only freeze them - so I do nothing with the tomatoes except grow them and as they ripen I lob them into the freezer - I've an old cardboard box in the freezer which I put the tomatoes into - they freeze and thats it. They don't stick together - they turn into canon balls very quickly. My spirits dropped when I discovered we've used the last bag (OH NO!!!!) this is about right as we've grown enough for about half of the year. On the windowsill of the house here, no greenhouse, just the windowsill. Ace eh? If I can do it, anyone can!
These in the bag were the last of the tomato canon balls from the bottom of the box. I do make my own sauces etc and freeze them when I've time, but in the summer when I'm trying to keep on top of life, watering and the universe in general - picking stuff and lobbing it into the freezer is often all I can manage. I'm busy and pretty lazy!!
I don't have much of a garden yet so these were all grown on the windowsill of the living room in window boxes. I grew 10 window boxes of tomatoes, which was great as this gave me alot of tomatoes. Amazing what you can do in a window box or just in a pot. Even with no garden, we've grown a bit of food - marevellous eh!!
The tomatoes are used straight from the freezer, skins and all - straight into a pot for sauce. I love the fact that they come out of the freezer all red and then begin to frost up as they begin to defrost!
|Frozen tomato canon ball heaven|
I often have a few green left when I'm at the end of the season - and I freeze them too to mix in with the reds - I think they are all used up - which is more important than a green/red tomato. If you've ever thought, I'd like to grow some of that but I'll have a surplass - its often alot easier to deal with the surplus than you maybe think. My family don't like chutney or fresh tomatoes - but I reckon I get at least the equivilent to 3-4 cans of chopped tomatoes out of a tomato plant if I freeze them. That saves tins, which saves recycling, which saves me time.
|Eventually this will be the equivilent of 3-4 tins of tomatoes|
Local grown, no mileage to get them home from the supermarket - no chemicals, a very 'untravelled tomato'. Makes amazing sauces and family love it. Packet of seeds have 20 seeds in for £2 - if I grew all twenty - that would be about the same as 80 tins of tomatoes - for £2 + compost (3ltr pot/60ltr compost for all the pots ) = £5. This is a total cost £7 and a bit of effort (This is about equivilent to 80 tins of tomatoes @ 33p a tin = £23.40). We're not talking anything but money spent here! The sun in the windowsill came free and they make decent looking house plants if you grow the bushier ones (less faffing). I put 4-5 tomatoes in each window box and made sure they were always watered. Not too hard, even for just a pot/box its not alot of effort and almost no real skill involved - good compost and water. Just don't forget the water!
I think I use about 150 tins of tomatoes in a year (2-3 tins a week normally @ 33p a tin for the cheapest)- (roughly cost - £49.50) - so I've reduced my tomato tin bill (£23.40 (cost of tinned tomatoes) - £7 (compost and seeds) = 16.40 by growing a few plants on the window sill and freezing the tomatoes. (ROUGHLY!). Even if I only grew one plant - it would have reduced my tinned consumption. One less tin, all adds up doesn't it even if its only one.
Trying to save the planet one little red canon ball at a time. We all have start somewhere!