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Dean Pomerleau

Don't Abandon Those Green Tomatoes!

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In years past, the day before a killing frost, I've always picked all the tomatoes that were fairly red, and left the rest to die on the vine, figuring unless they're pretty ripe already they aren't going to ripen enough after picking to be edible. Boy was I wrong!

 

This year, I decided to do an experiment. Two weeks ago, before the killing frost here in Western PA, I picked all the cherry tomatoes, (orange) grape tomatoes and yellow pear tomatoes in my garden, even the extremely green ones, like the one in my hand in the photo below. The photo shows the results of two weeks of ripening in bright window in my 65degF basement. They've all been ripening nicely. By now, all the tomatoes left in the image are ones that were very green when I picked them, including all the nicely ripe red/orange/yellow ones in the containers. The small container has the one's I'm planning to eat tomorrow. At this rate I should be enjoying organic, homegrown tomatoes through Christmas. I started harvesting in early July, so that is six months of harvest and at least 100lbs of tomatoes, from a 5x10ft plot, with very little effort. Pretty amazing for this part of the country!

 

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So for all you gardeners out there, next year, don't give up on those green tomatoes when a frost hits. Bring them inside to ripen and enjoy fresh tomatoes for weeks to come!

 

--Dean

 

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