Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tomatoes!

As you may recall, our tomatoes did survive the storm. Only one of them stayed on the vine, but the ones that fell off didn't get damaged. They were just still green. So I turned to google in a quest to figure out the best way to ripen them. Turns out tomatoes ripen pretty well off the vine. Did you know, for example, that once they start to blush, there's a little membrane in the stem that closes up and the tomato doesn't receive any more water or nutrients from the plant? All it does is hang there and ripen. The key, of course, is the blushing. My tomatoes were still very much green. As I read on, I also learned that putting a blushed tomato in a paper bag with the green tomatoes will help them ripen. Apparently, as the blushed tomato ripens and turns red, it emits ethylene gas. Which, in turn, helps ripen the green tomatoes. Cool, huh? I decided to test out this theory, and harvested the one remaining tomato (as it was beginning to turn red). I put it in the bag with the green tomatoes, and wouldn't you know it, they're all nice and ripe now! So, for all you gardeners out there plagued by bugs and birds attacking your ripe tomatoes on the vine, just take them off as soon as they begin to blush. Then finish ripening them inside, in a paper bag, or wrapped in some newspaper or something. Voila! My plant is recovering, too, and putting out new flowers. We may just get another harvest before the frost (whenever that comes here...).

1 comment:

Jeannie said...

Yum! They look delicious!

We used to have neighbors at our old apartment who grew the most amazing tomatoes on their balcony.

I wish I had an inkling of desire to garden......