We plant tomatoes two ways. Mr. Mims usually plants about twenty or so starters in early spring. When all those tomatoes start ripening at the same time is when I pull out all three of my crock pots. I have become pretty efficient at canning tomato sauce and paste and love to have both all year round in my pantry. I fill my crockpots to the brim with stemmed whole tomatoes and turn them on low. When I get to it, at night or early in the morning I take the stewed tomatoes out, drain the excess liquid and run the tomatoes through my food mill to remove the skins and some of the seeds. Then the sauce goes back in the crockpot, cooked down and seasoned before canning.
You really don’t want tomato skin in your sauce or paste. When I was researching how to can tomato sauce I read a lot of directions that involved dipping batches of tomatoes in boiling water, allowing them to cool and then removing the skins. That’s lovely, really, but time consuming and unnecessary, unless you want to can whole tomatoes. The food mill is high on my list of valued kitchen gadgets.
OK, so the other way tomatoes get grown at the Mims Estate is that I usually plant three or four heirlooms at the very western end of my garden, later in the season. My intent is to be eating our last fresh homegrown tomatoes in the Thanksgiving salad. I succeeded in that in 2015. I had some beautiful and large Cherokee Purple tomatoes that ripened on my kitchen counter in the last week before Thanksgiving.