‘Tomato Stuff’: Tapenade-Style Tomato Spread for Sauces, Dressings, and More

With a bonanza supply of dehydrated tomatoes put by, I made this delicious spread that we’ve always called just “tomato stuff.” It’s like a tapenade, although without anchovies. I use it by itself to spread on thin slices of baguette or water crackers for an elegant appetizer and also use it by the big spoonful for enrich a pasta sauce instead of tomato paste, make a quick pizza, add body to a vegetable soup, add big flavor to a vinaigrette dressing, dress a plain dish of spaghetti, and put a bit of zing into a bland stew.

Cook for a Night and Eat for a Week with a Wood-Fired Oven

We built our own clay oven for backyard pizza and bread-baking. One of our favorite things to do is fire up the oven for a weekend afternoon/evening and prepare a variety of meals that will last all week. A bit of work on the weekend provides meals for a week with the unique wood-fired flavor of the outdoor oven.

Grainger County Tomato Bruschetta

The Lodge at Buckberry Creek prepares a flavorful Tomato Bruschetta with Grainger County tomatoes, known for their rich flavor, texture and homegrown appearance. But your vine-ripened, freshly picked tomatoes are perfect for this recipe.

Tomato-Basil Bruschetta Recipe

Use sun-ripened tomatoes and sweet basil from your garden to craft this deliciously simple Italian recipe. Earthy and vibrant in flavor, this bruschetta is sure to become your new summer staple.

Make Gazpacho Soup with Heirloom Tomatoes

I never much cared for gazpacho, and that’s probably because I lived in Colorado and Alaska most of my adult life. You must have great tomatoes to make great Gazpacho. After I tasted gazpacho made with heirloom tomatoes like 'Cherokee Purple', 'Brandywine', 'Marmonde' and others from my garden, I realized what I had been missing.

Common and Rare Types of Tomato Foliage

The more tomato varieties you grow – especially if you delve into the wonderful world of heirlooms – the more you realize that not all tomato plants look alike. Look closely at the leaves and you will find lots of variations; once you become familiar with a particularly favorite variety, you may even be able to distinguish it early on just by its leaves. Pictures tell the story and take the mystery away from the commonly used tomato foliage terms "regular leaf" and "potato leaf."

Making 'Lemonade' from Seedling Failure

Enemy forces seemed to converge over my indoor green thumbs this year, resulting in a near complete seedling failure. What happens when undetermined circumstances produce "lemons?" You make lemonade, of course. Blythe shares how her failed seedling crop may just have changed how she manages her springtimes from here on out.

Tomatoes from Seed: My 10 Most Important Seed-Starting Success Factors

I start a lot of seedlings each spring – far more than I can fit in my garden. We don’t have much room – this is our home, after all, not a nursery. Yet, with a sunny south facing window, some inexpensive heat mats, a garage with suspended shop lights and sunny driveway, I start hundreds (in some years, thousands) of seedlings successfully. Here are what I consider to be a list of the most important details to pay close attention to.

Here is What Happens When You Save Hybrid Seeds

A hybrid is simply two different plant varieties crossed for specific reasons. You can save the seeds produced by these, contrary to what you may have heard. It’s just more complicated than saving heirloom or open-pollinated seeds.

7 Mad Gardening Skills

To be an avid gardener means you need to have special skills. Here's a list of 7 abilities that will take you to the next level.

Freezing Whole Tomatoes

Yes, you can freeze whole tomatoes! Preserve the harvest in a flash and save the saucing for later.

Let's All Start 2016 Right: 5 Resolutions for Tomato Lovers

This is a perfect time for reflection and planning, because the 2016 gardening season is peeking around the corner. Seed catalogs are arriving. I am sure that all of us are really missing freshly picked tomatoes. Here are 5 ideas to use in planning your 2016 tomato garden.

Winter for the Tomato Grower, Part 1: Your-End-of-Season Questions Answered

For much of the country, the tomatoes we are eating now are not the prized specimens plucked from our gardens. They are emerging from our cupboards (dried, canned) or freezers – certainly wonderful enhancements to our cooking endeavors, but not elucidating the summer time level of excitement. But the end of the growing season doesn’t equate to a long, tomato thoughts-free sabbatical. This post outlines how to be planning for next tomato-growing season.

'Orange Jazz' is an Excellent New Beefsteak Tomato

'Orange Jazz' is a productive new tomato variety bred on Baia Nicchia Farm. It has a sweet-complex flavor, with hints of stone-fruit and unique coloration with yellow stripes over orange flesh.

How and When to String-Weave Tomatoes (with Video)

String weaving is a good method for training and supporting long rows of tomato plants. Plan now for next year’s crop. All you need is a simple handmade tool, stakes and twine. The winter storage space for the equipment is much smaller than with other support systems.

Preserving My Tomato Harvest (with Tomato Paste Recipe)

So, what to do when you are eating tomatoes at every meal and still have them coming? It is time to preserve them! There are 3 easy ways to preserve the tomato harvest for fresh from the garden taste year round: freezing, water bath canning, and drying.

Preserving Cherry Tomatoes as Tomato Confit

An abundant harvest of cherry tomatoes can be roasted to make a tomato preserve called tomato confit. The recipe is simple, and the tomato confit can be used to make tomato tarts and tomato bruschetta.

Farming on a Tenth of an Acre in Town

You do not have to have “land” to farm. You can farm where ever you are. A 10th of an acre is enough and, on some days, more than you would want to can handle. Make the best use of your space, care for your soil, be thrifty with water and enjoy the garden and the fruits of your labor.

Planning for Seed Saving

When you save your own seeds,you choose what characteristics you want to preserve by your careful selections. Seed saving is an adventure waiting to happen in your own garden.

Annie’s Green Tomato Salsa Recipe for Water Bath Canning

This year I took several liberties in developing a new version of salsa verde. I don't grow tomatillos so I use green tomatoes. I won't call it salsa verde (except on the lids of my jars), because it isn't authentic. But let me tell you, it is GOOD. Here is Annie’s Green Tomato Salsa Recipe good for use when water bath canning.

Preserving the Tomato Harvest

With bumper crops of tomatoes coming, there are some simple ways to preserve the fresh off the vine taste year round, no special equipment required.

Canning Tomato Broth

Separate the tomato water from tomato pulp to make a delicious broth.

How We Grow Tomatoes at Deer Isle Hostel

Few other vegetables represent summer as a sun-ripe, homegrown tomato does.This is how we raise and plant tomatoes at the Deer Isle Hostel and Homestead.

Top 10 Tomato-Growing Myths

There are many tomato tales out there. If you want to know which farmer stories are true, read on to get tips on growing great tomatoes.

Lazy Gardener's Tomato Sauce Recipe

Not enough hours in the day? Want to make tomato sauce but are short on time? Use this recipe to make great-tasting tomato sauce (using frozen tomatoes)at your leisure. Perfect for pressure canning and delicious!

A Green Home Lesson for Growing Tomatoes in Drought

With the Drought Pod, the organic mass is inside the pod where it never dries out and by planting the tomatoes, or any vegetable directly beside the barrel, the plant roots can tap into the nutrients and moisture as they so choose.

Heat-Tolerant Tomato Varieties

Some tomato varieties wilt when temperatures get too hot. Find heat-tolerant tomato varieties that can grow robust tomato plants in hot climates.

How to Graft Tomatoes

Learning how to graft tomatoes yourself not only saves money but gives you unlimited options for what varieties you choose to graft. With a little practice, you can become skilled at this worthwhile technique.

Farming Is Hard Work

It takes a few good rationalizations to get through the busiest part of the growing season.

Uses for Green Tomatoes

Use these green tomato recipes when garden season leaves you with an abundance of green tomatoes on your vines.

Double Your Tomato Plants

Tomatoes are a great vegetable, perfect for all occasions and relatively easy to grow. Here is a way to double, even triple your seedlings while boosting your existing ones.

Panzanella

Have you ever had leftover bread, but you don't want to throw it away or give it to the birds? Here's what you do: Panzanella. This Italian salad will throw your taste buds for a loop, and it all starts with leftover, stale bread.

Solar Food Drying 2012

Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.

Fighting Tomato Blight with Copper Coated Pennies?

Tackling the old wives tale I heard recently down at the hardware store how a penny inserted into the flesh of a tomato plant stalk will help that plant fight off or maybe prevent a blight attack along with data on trying to trap a wild rabbit.

Chicago Hardy Figs and Attracting Native Pollinators

Using oil seed radishes to add organic matter to the ground and attracting native pollinators with a nest site. Harvesting sweet potato seeds if we're lucky and admiring the parasitic wasp's ability to lay white egg sacs into the body of a horn worm

Solar Dehydrating Tomatoes, Step-by-Step

If you've been wondering how to dehrydrate tomatoes, look no further! We've compiled step-by-step instructions on solar dehydrating tomatoes, complete with photos from our own experience drying veggies in the solar dryer at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office.

Putting the Community in a Community Garden

Describes the process of forming a community garden from the physical and energetic standpoints. The power of teamwork, the joy of accomplishment and the building of a feeling of group unity are described.

Ragweed Wineberry Stir Fry

A report on the potato onion taste test and some details on the annual tomato harvest and storage methods along with digging up ragweed plants.

Super-Simple Solar Food Drying

Solar food drying is incredibly easy with a solar food dehydrator, which requires very little effort to make perfectly preserved produce.

Saving Stressed Tomatoes

Describes a method of protecting tomatoes from excessive heat using a sunscreen, vermicompost tea, pulling blighted leaves.

The Lazy Urban Gardener's Safety Net

So, what do you do if you neglected to start your veggies way back in January or February? You had good intentions but there always seemed to be something that stole your attention. Now it’s the planting season and you have nothing to plant...

Solar Panel Back Up Power for Under 1000 Dollars?

Describing how we are trying to provide a low budget solar panel back up system for under 1000 dollars that will run our laptops and router along with a few other things if the local power grid has any issues.

First Time Gardener in the Office Garden

Summer intern Megan describes her first time gardening at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, planting cucumbers for the first time and watering the office garden.

Two Tomato Tips

Here are two helpful tips that will help you have a successful tomato plant.

Gardening and Food

Part of gardening is knowing what to do with your veggies after you've grown them. Here, we will examine what to do with those pie pumpkins this upcoming Fall.

Be Self Sufficient with Sweet Potatoes; Harden off Your Tomatoes

At the gardens of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, we're preparing to plant sweet potato slips, hardening off transplants, and enjoying an abundance of spring cabbage. Learn tips and tricks for getting your transplants ready for the great outdoors.

The Hoophouse Tomato: In the Ground!

Spring is here and those tomato plants that were started in January are settled into their new hoophouse home. I have hopes for early tomatoes; will a late freeze stifle this goal?

Looking Forward to Tomatoes

Tomato frenzy has begun! Here are the tomato varieties I'm growing in my 2012 vegetable garden.

Tomato Jam

Try something really unusual on your toast or English muffin: Tomato jam. And it tastes really, really good!

Tomato Grafts Create Cool, Two-Headed Plants

Creating tomato grafts may be a great way to grow tomatoes organically. Tomato grafting has emerged as one good way to bring resistance to soilborne diseases to susceptible heirloom varieties.

Converting Regular Recipes Into Vegan Recipes

You don't need vegan recipes to cook vegan. Make delicious vegan dishes out of regular recipes by substituting tofu for meat in chicken-cauliflower salad. In dairy-based recipes, such as wheat berry pudding, use vanilla coconut milk in place of dairy milk. Pair with crusty white bread and avocado-corn salsa for a delicious vegan meal!

Build Homemade Tomato Cages

Done with flimsy, store-bought tomato cages that fall over when the wind blows? Build long-lasting, heavy-duty tomato cages to fit your garden with one of our four plans.

Gardening in Small Spaces: My Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter

I’ve learned that gardening in small spaces can be challenging, but I’ve had great success with a Topsy Turvy tomato planter this year. Have you used similar products in your home? How do you handle gardening in small spaces?

Photo of the Day: Peace, Love, and Tomatoes

One reader submits a photo of her tomato harvest, shaped in the form of a peace sign. Don't forget to submit your own photos to our CU Photo Gallery. Maybe your favorite moments will pop up on the homepage one day for all the world to see!

Find the Best Seeds: Choose Great-Tasting Varieties

Editor in chief Cheryl Long explains how to find the best-tasting vegetable varieties to plant in your garden, and talks about three of her favorites: ‘Carmen’ sweet peppers, ‘Sungold’ cherry tomatoes and ‘Floriani’ grain corn.

Seed Starting Tips

Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.

The Thrill of Gardening

The experience of growing one's first garden is a thrill one will never forget.

Roasted Green Tomatoes

How to roast green tomatoes to be eaten alone or to boost the flavor of other recipes.

The Perfect Tomato Sandwich

When the right bread envelopes sun-ripened tomatoes, one of the most righteous tastes of summer is yours to enjoy.   

Salmonella Outbreak Moves to Hot Peppers

Have you kept up with the recent salmonella outbreak in tomatoes? According to the Centers for Disease control, the outbreak may have moved on to hot peppers.

Salmonella in Tomatoes Still an Issue

Still anxious about the Salmonella found in tomatoes? Although some cases have been reported as recently as late June, don’t let it stop you from enjoying fresh, seasonal tomatoes. 

Garlicky Bruschetta Recipe

Bruschetta, the classic Italian appetizer, brings out the best of a few basic ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil and fresh bread.