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[…] jars, wipping jars, sealing jars and boiling jars but well worth it. Here’s a great link to Summer in a Jar, where Master Canner Teri Irish explains why you should can your own tomotoes. […]

Tracey Stockdale

I have always wanted to can tomatoes and your article makes a good “case” for doing it. When is the best time to get the tomatoes for canning in Washington state? I know this year everything is early so I’d like to get prepared. I have done pickled beets and jam but never actual canning before. Would be interested in any resources you might offer as well

Hi Tracey, I’m pleased to know you’re ready to take the next step. Don’t bother canning salad tomatoes; can roma’s or plum for the best flavor next winter. As far as I know the tomatoes grown in eastern Wa. are on schedule. It’s always best to call ahead and find out directly from the farmer you work with as to their arrival. Find a grower whose methods you want to support. I have a private grower who told me his tomatoes should arrive at the normal time. I don’t buy tomatoes for canning grown in western Wa. since they’re too… Read more »

Tracey Stockdale

Thanks that was helpful – do you put basil or garlic with the tomatoes?

We keep the tomatoes as versatile as possible, i.e. no added flavors. The minimal amount of time it might save to add herbs and spices at canning is more than offset by maintaining maximum versatility. We gave a few quarts of tomatoes to a friend who most enjoys using them straight out of the jar on a BLT or salad in the middle of the winter. The flavor of these tomatoes is a delight when summer seems so far away.

Tracey Stockdale

Ok great – any other helpful hints I would appreciate – I use so many canned tomatoes in recipes throughout the year I’m sure I will have no problem getting through them