How to run a salsa work day

We (Preserving Traditions) made 79 pints of salsa a couple weeks ago at the Pittsfield Grange. How on earth do you organize such an event?

Like this.

A few notes:

  • The biggest pain is figuring out what each person should bring. Recipes mix units, such as “7 quarts diced tomatoes, two pounds of peppers, and six garlic cloves.” Nightmare! So on the linked page, I’ve done all the conversions so you can easily say, “Ok, I need ten cups of diced bell peppers. How many pounds of undiced peppers is that?”
  • I could run a lot more of these events if I didn’t have to figure all this out each time. AND SO COULD YOU. Please feel free to take these calculations and run your own events! Trust me, all the chopping is nothing compared to the math…
  • This event took over 50 people hours to run (not including planning), and there was a fair bit of standing around waiting for salsa to cook. That’s not a very efficient way to make a lot of salsa, but it’s good for fun and community-building. If you are interested in production efficiency, have fewer people make the same quantity of salsa. It’ll take the same amount of time, but with less standing around.
  • I think the ideal place to run one of these would be a school’s home ec kitchen. Lots of stoves and equipment!


  1. Cynthia said,

    September 5, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Wow! 79 pints…how many people did it? I am so with you on the weights and measures…I’ve gone to weight for all my canning recipes now.

  2. Sweetgum said,

    September 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you! Brilliant! Those volume measurements of chopped ingredients drive me crazy. This makes it so much easier to plan. Great post.

  3. EdgeWiseInAnnArbor said,

    September 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Ah! Thank goodness. I’ve been trying to compile a conversion for garden veggies, and this is more complete than mine for tomatoes. Very helpful, and very impressive turnout. Thanks again.

  4. Cynthia said,

    September 9, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I found this chart which has been really helpful for my canning ventures and shopping….

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