I’ve been harvesting tomatoes for the past week, and am having the best harvest yet! I’ve also been canning tomato sauce… the “how-to” coming soon.

After three years of growing (or attempting to grow) tomatoes, I’ve finally settled on my favorite variety, and the best way to grow them.

Hands down, Amish Paste tomatoes.

They’re the perfect all-purpose tomato. They’re good for slicing, and they make delicious sauces! They are very meaty, with very little juice and seeds.

I’ve decided that on a small homestead like ours where there isn’t much room to waste, we have to make the most of every square foot of garden that we have. Big, slicing tomatoes are nice. And little cherry tomatoes are fun as well. And I might plant one of each next year. But if I’m going to be serious about canning all of my family’s tomato products, it’s gotta be as many Amish Pastes as I can squeeze in.

This year I tried something new for trellising my tomatoes…

I hammered stakes into the ground, and secured goat wire fencing across them. It’s helpful to use fencing with big holes like this, so you can reach your hand through the wires, and so the vines have room to move in and out freely.

Amish Pastes are indeterminate, meaning that they vine instead of bush, so they need something to climb. If the plant is left to sprawl across the ground, it will quickly succumb to insect infestation and rot.

I did help the vines a little by carefully weaving them through the wire as they grew. I’ve also used twine to hold up the long branches that didn’t find their way to the trellis, and were too stiff to bend back without breaking.

I’ve had almost none of these tomatoes to rot or go bad on the vine. They’ve definitely done better than any other year!

So that’s my vote. Amish Pastes. And goat wire trellising.

Do you have a favorite? If you could only grow one type of tomato, what would it be and why?