Photos from a Tomato Canning Workshop

August 19, 2012(updated on October 3, 2018)

tomato canning workshop

The bulk of the canning classes I teach are demonstration style. This is in part because I’ve found that new canners feel more comfortable starting out by watching and learning.  It also doesn’t help that good, hands on teach space is hard to come by in the Philadelphia area.

prepping jars

Thing is, I love it when I have the opportunity to lead a hands on workshop. I only get to do one or two of those a summer, but I have so much fun when it happens. Today was a workshop day.

blanching and filling

Blooming Glen Farm hosted today’s workshop and provided 100 pounds of gorgeous red tomatoes for the canning. We blanched, peeled, acidified, packed and processed our way through every one of those tomatoes, which resulted in 52 quarts of peeled tomatoes packed in water.

full jars

 Speaking of tomatoes, I heard a couple of days ago that Lancaster Farm Fresh has a ton of organic tomatoes to move this season. They’re selling them in 25 pound boxes for just $25 a box. They have pick up locations in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C., so this isn’t one just for my Philly-based folks. You can place an order by through this form or by calling 717-656-3533.

canning station

Last thing! We’ve got a winner in the Jars to Go Lunch Tote giveaway. has selected #164, which is Debra Meadow. Here’s how she uses her jars at lunch time, “Leftovers with a dollop of homemade sauerkraut and a jar of homemade beet kvass or kombucha. In a smaller jar I take crispy almonds and a coconut butter square for a snack.” Sounds delicious, Debra!

For those of you who didn’t win, but are still interested in getting one of these lunch totes, please know that the A Tiny Forest shop owner Kim is just one person with a sewing machine. She’s a little backed up thanks to all of you who want to buy her clever product, so please be kind and patient. I promise, your bag will be worth the wait. And, if you’re good with a sewing machine, she also sells the pattern, if you want to take a stab at making one yourself.

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12 thoughts on "Photos from a Tomato Canning Workshop"

  • What brand/model of electric burner are you using under the canning pots? I’m actually looking for one to use with my pressure canner since my stovetop won’t work and I prefer to do canning outside anyway. Thanks!

    1. I was using butane-powdered burners under the canning pots. I was using a pressure canner, but was using it as a water bath, so I’m not sure I can be of much help here. The issue with the butane burners is that they fuel canisters only last 1 1/2 hours, so I had to watch them carefully to ensure that we didn’t lose the boil on the pots.

  • The class looks like so much fun, and the tomatoes are beautiful!

    Also, I just have to say what an extraordinary week it’s been! I have enjoyed talking with so many of the Food in Jars readers about bags and patterns. Thanks for your patience and understanding (even on the odd occasion when overly enthusiastic spam filters interfere with pattern delivery.) 😉 Marisa, thank you again for the lovely review, congrats to Debra, and if you’ve ordered from me, thanks so much! I hope you all enjoy your bags!

    Kim Payne

    1. Kim, I’m so happy that it’s been such a good week for you! I used your tote to take jars to a demo recently and everyone oohed and aahed over it. You have such a hit on your hands!

  • It was such a delight to hear you speak and meet you at the food swap in Troy yesterday. I love your book and can’t wait to try some new recipes.


  • Whose bottle with the Raven Used Books label??? I know where you’re from… It’s my favorite bookstore!

    1. Kathleen, that’s my water bottle. I’m not from Northampton, but I love going there when we visit friends in Western Mass.

  • Marisa, you are a godsend!

    After realizing that I did about 100-125 pounds last season, the tip on the Lancaster CSA is going to cut my costs considerably this year. Thanks for the information – they could not be any nicer, and I could not be any happier… well, unless the jars were already full and sitting on the shelf, of course.

    (Where do all those tomatoes go? Whole, passata, salsa, tomato jam, and hot sauce!)

  • I’d like to vouch for the 25 lbs of tomatoes. I’ve already got 10 pints of crushed tomatoes done, and plans to roast some and make sauce and salads out of the rest.