Has the question, “How many tomatoes make up a bushel?” been on your mind? Here is a little information for those of you needing some measurements. If you are a gardener or even just a fair weather chef, having this information will help you make plans for your plot or special dinner.

Before we go over some of the numbers, here is some history on the bushel. A bushel is a form of measurement used in the United Stares and has a complicated history, defined at first as a volume of a cylinder (of a specific diameter and length) and then later defined as a unit of weight. Because of the differences in moisture of dry goods, the commodities market has developed a standard of how many pounds make up a bushel for each type of dry good, such as wheat or a type of vegetable. This “standard” varies from state to state, depending on jurisdictions in each area. Eventually, the bushel may be replaced with the metric system (although we as a country have had a hard time of accepting even this simpler form of determining weight). Change is slow, even for a 14th century, antiquated form of measurement like the bushel.

There are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes available to us. To determine how many tomatoes are in a bushel, we would first have to know a little about the tomato we are using. There are small, fleshy tomatoes, big, watery tomatoes and then all the delicious tomatoes in between. A bushel of tomatoes weighs 53 pounds. Once you have an idea as to how many of your tomatoes make a pound, you can from there multiply this number by 53 to get your answer to how many tomatoes make up a bushel.

Supplies you will need:

• Kitchen scale that can measure up to 16 ounces or more.
• Tomatoes of any variety.

Determine what category your tomato falls in:

1. Place one tomato on the scale.
2. Continue placing tomatoes onto scale until your scale registers 16 ounces or one pound.
3. Once you have enough tomatoes on the scale, you can then get an idea as to how many you'll need per bushel by comparing your results to the following list:
4. Beefsteak: 1/2 to 1 tomato(es) would add up to a pound. Multiplied by 53, you would get a number anywhere between 26.5 and 53 tomatoes to a bushel.
5. Better Boy: 2 to 3 tomatoes equals 106 to 159 tomatoes to a bushel.
6. Big Boy: 3 to 4 tomatoes equals 159 to 212 to a bushel.
7. Pixie: 30 tomatoes equals 1590 tomatoes to a bushel.
8. Roma: 8 tomatoes equals 424 tomatoes to a bushel.
9. Sicilian Heart: 1 to 2 tomatoes equals 53  to 106 a bushel.
10. Sunray: 3 tomatoes equals 159 a bushel.

Unless you have a commercial food scale in which you can weigh out your tomatoes up to 53 pounds, you will have to use the per pound method. If you have a variety of tomatoes that you would like to separate into bushels (and it does not matter that they are mixed) then this also can be done, but your tomatoes per bushel results will vary if  you do this. However you decide to measure you product, you will ultimately be able to create your bushels for selling, cooking or storing.

Source: Bushel Scale