Green tomatoes

Continuing my experiments with gardening in a flowerbed, I had planted a couple of tomato plants (Better Bush or Patio, I forget which) in the little flowerbed in front of our unit last spring. I chose the busy type because I don’t have sunlight all day on the bed. A regular tomato would get long and spindly. I was hoping that the stocky bush-type would do better. While it did grow more leggy than is usual for a bush-type plants, it managed to stay in bounds enough for the front flower bed. Next year I hope to plant more of them.

For a long while, they just sat there, unchanging. It seemed like weeks before they added a new leaf. Eventually, they got growing and gave us a few tomatoes before the weather got too hot. Tomatoes don’t set fruit very well when it gets hot. This year the summer was very hot and dry.  None of the tomatoes were very large; most were around the size of a golf ball or a little larger.

In the fall, it began producing fruit again; lots of little green tomatoes, but they were slow to ripen. (It’s like a watching a pot of water boil, it seems to take FOREVER for one to turn red enough to pick. And that’s if the birds or bugs don’t get to it first.) However, once ripe, the tomatoes were small but tasty.

Finally, in the first week of November, the weather report predicted the first hard frost. Tomatoes are very sensitive to frost and I didn’t expect the plant to survive. I took a basket and picked all of them. There were 20 or more small green ones and about 6-7 that were beginning to turn pink. I knew the pink ones would continue to ripen, but neither of us knew what to do with the green ones. We don’t really like fried green tomatoes, so we just gave in to inertia and left the rest in the basket on the counter in the kitchen.

To our surprise, many of the completely green ones turned red. We’ve been adding them to dishes as they ripen, but we may have to cook the rest up into a sauce and freeze it for later use. So, don’t throw away green tomatoes.

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