Have you seen the prices of tomatoes in the store lately? Wow! Now that is AFTER they have been back on the market following a mass recall.  There is something wrong when produce, fresh, simple, whole produce gets recalled. It’s not like it’s a ‘product’ that is ‘prepared’; it’s a whole food! One we can grow on our porch!

Tomatoes are among the easiest plant to grow and to do so abundantly.  A tomato plant can grow in a container on a deck or in a huge garden plot. They will grow in raised beds and some can grow on a trellis or hanging basket off the wall.  There is not really any excuse for paying for a pricey tomato during the summer, even if you live in a condo that has only one window, you can save money by growing a plant.

Since the price is high if you have to buy, I thought I’d share some tips to stretching the tomato use and saving you some money on them.

1. When slicing a tomato, use a very sharp serrated knife to keep from squeezing out the flavor and juice.  Also, slice them very thin.  You can always put more than one slice on of a tomato on a sandwich if you want more.

2. When you have sliced a tomato and all that is left is the top with the stem, flip it over (inside down, skin side up ) on your counter and trim around that stem and dice up the top of the tomato.  It can be kept to add to Gazpacho, an omelet, a salad or salsa rather than tossed in the trash with the center stem.  You’d be surprised at how far you can stretch one tomato top.  You can also do this if you didn’t slice them thin enough and you have left-over thick slices that won’t store well.

The humble tomato is easy to grow, easy to use and easy to stretch as a fresh food. No more worries about tomato recalls and no more expensive tasteless tomatoes from the store!

The Millers live on 15 acres in North Carolina.  They own and operate  “Millers Grain House”