Ripening tomatoes

Unripened tomatoes that have fallen to the ground during a windstorm or are too stubborn to ripen at the end of the year can upset even the best gardener.  It seems like such a waste of time to put in all the work to grow tomatoes only to see the fruits of your labor on the ground half-green.  Fortunately, there is a way of ripening tomatoes. 

I found out how to ripen tomatoes after a strong windstorm that left most of my ripening tomatoes on the ground.  We had a big storm right in the beginning of the summer and it really tore up my tomato plants.  The storm blew all of my plants over... trellis and all.  When I went to pick up the plants, I found that most of the ripening tomatoes had fallen off of the plant.

This was a crushing blow to say the least.  I had worked so hard on my tomatoes and had only picked a few up until that point.  Because of the storm, the ripening tomatoes that I had been waiting for where lying on the ground ready to rot.  I decided I could not let that happen.  I started doing some research and called around to a couple people I knew that grew tomatoes.

To my surprise, one of the ladies I worked with knew of a way of ripening tomatoes.  After listening to her describe how to ripen them, I hung up the phone super excited to try out what I had just learned.  I went out and did exactly what she told me to do and it actually worked.  Within a couple days, I was eating ripe tomatoes.  The tomatoes didn't have quite the same flavor as the vine ripened but they were perfect for use in salsa or pasta.

The process of ripening tomatoes is really simple.  All you need to do is collect the unripened tomatoes, dry them and then put them in a plastic bag.  Once they are in the bag, put in a ripe piece of fruit and wait for the tomatoes to ripen.  The theory is that a ripe piece of fruit puts off some kind of chemical that will make the other fruit around it ripen.

 I am terrible at science and don't know if this even makes sense but I don't care because it actually works.  Maybe the tomatoes would ripen without the fruit but all I care is that they ripen.  A tomato that is half-ripe usually ripens in four to five days while a solid green one will take about six to seven.  It is a good idea to not over-load the bag and to also check the bag daily to make sure nothing is rotting. 

Ready to ripen
I tried this trick again at the end of the season and it worked for a second time.  I had a lot of green tomatoes on my plant but not many nice days of weather left.  I was so confident in the ripening tomato trick that on the last nice day of the forecast I picked all of my fruit.  I had to throw out a couple that were cracked and started to rot but I ended up with a lot more than I would have otherwise.

If you find yourself in the same boat as I was this summer,  try this trick to ripen your tomatoes.  You will find that it works well.  If you try this ripening trick, please comment and let me know how it worked for you.

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