Canning Tomatoes


Last week we had our first lesson in canning. In August our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has extra produce because so many members leave the city on vacation or long weekends without picking up their farm shares. We were able to get dozens of leftover biodynamic, organic, local tomatoes for canning.

Cindy, an expert canner since her childhood living on a farm, led us through the process. The children helped us peel the blanched tomatoes and funnel them into clean jars, then we put on the clean lids and into to the boiling water bath they went for 45 minutes. Pull them out, let them cool and listen to the lids “pop” as they seal. That simple; 48 pints of canned tomatoes!

Our consumer culture tells us these things are hard or complicated to do; keeping us spending for the convenience, but it wasn’t hard at all. Not only will we save money this year on canned tomatoes but those dollars will not be given to corporate growers who abuse migrant farm workers. Those dollars will not be given to the processing and canning plants that mistreat factory workers. Those dollars will not be spent in Harlem’s horrible neighborhood grocery chains. Not bad for an afternoon with neighbors.