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Drop off your plastic bags and canning jars at the orchard and we'll re-use them!

We're always looking for wagons for people to use when they go to our pumpkin patch - feel free to drop off your old or un-used wagons at the orchard!

We're also happy to take any picnic tables you're getting rid of - even if it's just the 'bones' of the table.


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N1959 Kroncke Road
Poynette, WI 53955

Take Hwy 51 North from Madison, go straight onto Hwy 22, turn east (right) onto Hwy 60 almost immediately. Drive 2 miles and go North (left) onto Kroncke Road. We're just over a mile on the left-hand side.

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(608) 635-4780

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pick Your Own Canning Tomatoes

Our pick your own canning tomato garden had it's first visitors this week and we now realize that many of you have never picked your own tomatoes before. I (Diane) grew up picking and canning tomatoes (and everything else), so sometimes I forget this is new to so many of you.

I try to do my picking a two or three days ahead of when I plan to can.  The tomatoes ripen at different rates in the patch and continue to ripen after picking.  So if you're going to process the tomatoes right away, you'll need to pick only tomatoes that are fully ripe on the vine.  This will make picking a slow and difficult process.  Many tomatoes (especially the home garden varieties that we grow) will go from ripe to rotten very quickly on the vine.

Go through the patch and pick all the red tomatoes.  They like to hide under the vines and under other tomatoes, so be sure to look everywhere.  Any tomatoes that are oozing in any way should be discarded. We're going to put some buckets out for this purpose, or you can set them along the edge of the patch and we'll pick them up and feed them to the critters or the compost pile.  That will keep the patch neater for the next pickers. 

Surface marks are no big deal.  These are canning tomatoes and pretty doesn't make good taste.  Many varieties, especially the old, heirloom ones that taste so great, may have cracks around the stem end.  These can be cut away before processing as long as they aren't oozing.  

If you want to can alot of tomatoes, call and let us know when you want to pick and we'll TRY to limit the pickers in there for a couple of days before that.  Wednesday or Thursday are probably your best bet.  We can also pick them for you for an additional fee if you call at least 2 days in advance.

Hope this helps.  If you have any questions, please ask.  We're addicted to our home-canned tomatoes and hope you'll love yours, too.


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