The time has come, I’m afraid, to end the tomatoes.
We’ve had a few frost warnings already, and I’ve been dutifully covering and uncovering my plants accordingly. But this is not my reason for giving up.
Someone else has discovered that tomatoes will actually grow in my yard. Someone with teeth and very bad manners.
They’ve been stealing the nicest, biggest fruit–red or green–eating half of it, and leaving the rest strewn about. Raccoon? Fox? Young deer, possibly? Anyway, I’ve decided that between the frost and the thief, I might as well bring what’s left inside.
Which leaves me with a bunch of green tomatoes to ripen. Some are too small to mature of course (time to look for some green tomato recipes) but most of them should be perfectly happy to turn red over the next few weeks: they have a little tinge of colour and aren’t rock hard. I’ve got them in a cardboard box in a quiet corner of the pantry. If I get impatient I might throw a banana in there–bananas are super-producers of ethylene gas, which encourages ripening.
I’ve heard you can actually pick your whole plant and hang it upside down, and the tomatoes will ripen nicely on the vine, but I don’t really have anywhere to hang mine that won’t bring me dirty looks from my husband or eye-rolling from my kids. So I went for the middle road: I’ve left pieces of vine attached to the tomatoes in my box, being sure to leave them enough space that nobody is getting poked.
Mostly I’m just relieved that my tomato curse has been lifted. Not sure why I’ve had so much trouble with what is supposed to be an easy plant, but at last, I can hold my head high.