We had a great group come to the farm this week. A summer camp from Gateway School in Santa Cruz decided to spend two of their camp days with us at the farm. The first day we took a tour and milked the goat, worked in the garden and harvested some fruits and veggies.

The second day we spent in the kitchen. We made: pizza dough, goat cheese, peach tartlets and we canned chunky tomato sauce which we used on our pizza for lunch! The tomato sauce was an experiment for me.  During the four sessions of camp, we canned quite a few times. We made pickles and pickled carrots, strawberry-rhubarb jam and blackberry jam, but this was the first time canning tomatoes for me.

I was hesitant at first to try canning tomatoes because many recipes call for peeled tomatoes, which seemed like a hassle. But after reading the pros and cons of peeled tomatoes, I decided to suck it up and peel them. It wasn’t that hard and it was actually pretty fun! Your kids will love ripping the skin off the tomatoes!

How to Peel Tomatoes

  1. Cut a small “x” just through the thin skin on the bottom of each tomato.
  2. Dip the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds or put them in a large bowl, pour boiling water over them, and let them sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Lift or drain the tomatoes out of the hot water and quickly dunk them into ice water to stop them from cooking or softening too much.
  4. KIDS! Gently pull off the skin and discard!

The recipe we used was simple and fun and made JUST enough for 12 pints of sauce.  If you’re using small tomatoes, I might recommend throwing a few more in!

Chunky Tomato Sauce


  • 5 onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 carrots, shredded
  • 3 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 cup fresh parsley (ripped)
  • 10 tbsp. fresh basil, ripped (or 2 tsp. dried)
  • 10 tbsp. fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 10 tbsp. fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 30 cups tomatoes (peeled and chopped-look below recipe for simple peeling instructions)
  • 4 cups tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. honey (we didn’t use any honey because our tomatoes were sweet enough on their own!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lemon juice or vinegar (see below)


  1. Chop onions, peppers and tomatoes.
  2. KIDS! Rip up basil and parsley into small pieces.
  3. Shred carrots and mince garlic.
  4. Saute onion and garlic in 10 tbsp. oil until tender.
  5. Add carrots through herbs and stir well.
  6. Add tomatoes, paste, honey and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves.
  8. Ladle into hot, sterilized pint jars (or quarts if you are canning a larger amount) to within 1/2 inch of top, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar per pint to assure acidity, seal with sterilized lids and process full jars in boiling water bath for 35 minutes.