Saturday, October 12, 2013

Preserving: Saving Green Tomatoes

Some vegetables are in their prime in the fall, especially in northern climes. I planted my tomatoes in June from starts I got at the nursery. They grew throughout the summer and finally had tomatoes setting in August. I was able to pick my first ripe tomatoes in early September, but the majority were still green when it was time to leave for our trip to Arizona at the end of the month.

I did some research and found that green tomatoes can be picked and stored in a cool location to ripen slowly. I figured it was worth a try. I chose only unblemished fruits and left the stem attached. I placed them on a tray in a single layer being careful to keep each one separated from its neighbor. That way, if one went bad it might not affect the others nearby. Temperatures 15 to 22 degrees C (60 to 72 degrees F) are best. Below that, ripening will be delayed. Above that, they might rot. For more suggestions visit:

I returned two weeks later. I was rewarded with tomatoes ranging from still green to perfectly ripe. The ripe ones were just as good as the ones that came off the vine. The rest are continuing to ripen. My experiment was a huge success.

It's a good thing I picked the green tomatoes before I left. When I got home, the plants were wilted from the continual rain, and the remaining small hard tomatoes had been "harvested" by my local woodrat (one big bite each)! You can see the sad looking plants just outside the window. -- Margy


  1. Awesome that you had the insight to harvest some, they look like they are ripening beautifully. I can't wait to hear how they taste!

  2. This blog post did not show up either on my list of blogs I follow. Strange?

  3. Lise - The only problem has been with everything ripening almost at once. I may have to freeze some, but that will make them really last. - Margy

    Stephanie - Not sure what's happening.


  4. yum... some good ones for fried green tomatos.


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy