Last of the Tomatoes
October 29, 2010
With the milder weather I've been able to continue harvesting tomatoes that I left on the vines as long as possible. Green tomatoes can be coaxed into ripening with a bit of time and patience. The flavour will not be as pronounced as those tomatoes ripened on the vine but they are still quite delicious. Green tomatoes with a small tinge of pink will ripen indoors. Totally green tomatoes will never ripen but they can be used for fried green tomatoes, salsa verde and green tomato ketchup. Tomatoes that have been hit by frost will never ripen.
Many home gardeners ripen green tomatoes on windowsills but in many cases the tomatoes will spoil before ripening especially on sunny windowsills. Tomatoes can be ripened indoors by putting them in a brown paper bag with a ripening banana. The banana produces ethylene gas that speeds the ripening process in the tomatoes. Larger quantities of green tomatoes can be ripened in a box with or without a banana. My preferred method is to place the green tomatoes on a baking sheet then set where the tomatoes will not be exposed to direct sunlight. An alternative method is to pull the entire plant, shaking as much dirt as possible from the root ball. Then hang the entire plant upside down in a sheltered area (eg. garage, basement) where it is dark. The tomatoes will ripen on the vines. Any tomatoes that don't ripen can be used as previously mentioned.