The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Homegrown tomatoes for Thanksgiving

Ripening tomatoes indoors in the fallWe picked all of our semi-ripe tomatoes at the beginning of October in preparation for a frost.  A week and one light frost later, I went out and harvested every single thing left on the vines, figuring that at the worst I'd end up with a lot of rotten fruits to go on the compost pile.  The result has been tomatoes ripening slowly in the kitchen for six weeks, and we still have about a third left to change color.

Despite the joy of including homegrown tomatoes in a Thanksgiving salad, I do plan to tweak my last tomato harvest a bit next year.  The first tomatoes to ripen indoors had started the process on the vine and tasted delicious, but each subsequent round became more and more tasteless.  Now, I'm throwing all romas straight into soup since they taste pretty insipid on their own.

On the other hand, the Crazy tommy-toes are still ripening up to a pretty good flavor, even the ones that I picked when they were dark green.  Crazy tomatoes also seem to be less prone to rotting on the ripening shelf, which is one of the downfalls of eking out your fall tomato harvest.

Although our remaining tomatoes aren't the prettiest thing around, they sure are a good way to remind me to eat all of that lettuce growing a mile a minute in the late fall garden!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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My husband picked all of our green tomatoes in early October, much to my dismay, to prevent the frost from getting to them ... to my surprise and delight, they ripened and were delicious!! We only lost 2 out of a dozen or so to rot. Sadly, we are down to our last 4 round, red, ripe tomatoes!

Love the blog! Christine

Comment by Christine Makris Mon Nov 22 09:54:14 2010
I found my biggest tomatoes of the year lurking in the grass about 2 weeks ago plants were long dead. Still good and ripening indoors now.
Comment by joey Mon Nov 22 11:39:54 2010

Christine ---- We probably hauled in a bushel of green tomatoes, so I'm not sad at all that we've lost quite a few to rot. In retrospect, it probably would have been smarter to just pick the nicest ones the way it seems like your husband did!

Joey --- Haven't you had the 22 degree nights we've had a couple of times this month?! You've got some seriously hardy tomatoes.

Comment by anna Mon Nov 22 19:31:12 2010

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