I was exposed to tomatoes at a very young age in both Brooklyn, NY and Calabria, Italy not really knowing the impact it would have on me as an adult. What I remember most is visiting local farms and picking the tomatoes by hand. My parents would take us to different farms each year (typically in New Jersey). We would haul hundreds of pounds of fresh tomatoes back to our Brooklyn backyard and wash them inside a very large tin tub. We never cooked the tomatoes we brought home. We also left the skins on along with their seeds. This is how my parents taught us (this is also how my Italian relatives preserved their tomatoes as well). This was our traditional way. We preserved our tomatoes in their own juice without salt, oil or sugar. Quartered all by hand. Usually we would infuse our tomatoes with fresh basil, oregano and rosemary from our home garden and these would last us all year long.
I use the same techniques learned from childhood at my facility today. Although on a much more industrial level, I’m still jarring tomatoes in Brooklyn today, minus the yard and tin tub of course.