Garden Update: August 4th
The harvesting of tomatoes has grown beyond anything that I’d imagined, so besides giving them away to the Yosemite Close Up Tours staff and the Mariposa Visitors’ Center staff, and freezing them and their products, I’ve started solar drying them:
I borrowed a double-screen dryer from my land-lady (also an avid gardener) and sliced up a bunch of full-size as well as cherry tomatoes for drying.
While having a black station wagon in California’s mid-summer presents it’s own discomforts on sunny days, it makes an excellent solar food-dryer if the windows are left open a crack so that the moisture from the drying food can escape.
It took about two full days in the sun for the tomatoes to arrive at a leathery consistency. At that point, I froze them and started a new batch. This next one had no cherry tomatoes since I filled the drying rack with full-sized ones.
Garden Update: August 5th:
The tomatoes are coming in like gangbusters, and the plums are getting ripe and are perfect for making preserves/jams due to their naturally high pectin content when they are nearly ripe. Jalapeños have been a steady producer and are adding spice to meals fresh or going into the freezer. Basil is also doing well, and I’ll show them soon as well as comments on making pesto which is a great favorite with all the tomatoes.