Thursday, December 16, 2010

No More Green Tomatoes

In an earlier post I described what I do when I’m faced with a blue norther threatening to turn my still unripe tomatoes into tomatocicles. And as promised, I’m back to share with you the photos of the small green slicer, shown in my previous post, that I was letting ripen on my kitchen counter.

Three weeks later, on December 8, I decided that the small slicer, that I had picked on November 17 for this green tomato ripening test, looked ready to be sampled. I took a photo just before and after slicing it. You can see that it was a nice even red inside and out and was still nice and plump. My two guys and I tasted the tomato and the verdict was that it had a nice tomato flavor. The flesh was not dry or mealy. If we hadn’t polished it off sampling it, it would have been perfect on a salad or sandwich.

I picked my green cherry tomatoes and remaining small slicers on Thanksgiving as our first predicted freeze bore down on us. They have been ripening nicely in my kitchen too. Last night, December 15, we enjoyed a fresh salsa made from most of what remained from that harvest along with store bought tomatillos, garlic and cilantro.

So remember next year that your unripe tomatoes don’t have to turn to mush on the vine or be turned into fried green tomatoes if the first freeze of the year threatens them before they are ready to be picked. Go ahead and pick them all, leave them in a colander out of direct heat and light and use them as they ripen, just as if they were ripening on the vine.

See a complete list of my gardening tips at my garden coach profile.


  1. Great reminder. I grew up in Indiana and we always had a huge garden. Canned at least 400 quarts of tomato juice a year plus green beans etc.
    My mom always brought in the last of the tomatoes and did the same as you are advising. barbara

  2. That is interesting. Our tomatoe plants did not last well at all this summer, and so got mowed over in July. Can't wait for spring!