Sunday 19 August 2012

Picking green tomatoes

The blight on my tomatoes has got a lot worse these last few days, probably because of the weather conditions. We have had rain again, and this in conjunction with the warm(ish) temperatures has created the high humidity in which blight thrives.

Even if I got no more tomatoes this year, I'd still have to admit that growing them had been worthwhile. Home-grown tomatoes are just so much better than shop-bought ones!

In my first photo today you can see "Maskotka" (small red ones), "Sungold" (small golden ones) and a solitary "Speckled Roman" - and a little "Iznik" cocktail cucumber.

Here's a close-up of the Speckled Roman. The shape is really wierd. The fruits all seem to have a sort of "navel" at the end.

Unfortunately the blight is beginning to win the race, and rather than lose the whole crop, I have started picking fruit that is not really ripe, or in some cases completely green. I find that unless the fruits are very immature they normally ripen quite successfully indoors. When I say "immature" I mean ones that still have a dull (matt) finish to them. Once their skins go glossy, I think they will be OK to pick.

In this next photo the bowl in the foreground contains 800g of Plum tomatoes, picked very green. There are 5 "Speckled Roman" (top), 4 "Incas" (bottom right), and 3 "San Marzano" (bottom left).

One way to hasten the ripening of green tomatoes is to give them the company of a very ripe banana. The banana exudes Ethylene gas, which helps the ripening process by acting as a catalyst in the conversion of starch to sugar.

Before storing these tomatoes I gave them a very thorough wash and I'll be keeping a close lookout for any signs of blight. Unfortunately although they look fine now, some of them may already be infected and they may go brown rather than red!

P.S. Jane and I have been in Vienna for the last few days, enjoying a short holiday, which is why I have been rather "low-profile" in the blogging world... I took loads of photos, so I fully intend to regale you with illustrated blogpost(s) in due course. Meanwhile, it's harvest time for me: it's amazing how much stuff can ripen in just four days!


  1. A beautiful tomato crop. The green ones will surely ripen or you could have "Fried green tomatoes" a Southern comfort food! We roll the green slices in cornmeal after dipping in milk and fry them til golden, add a bit of salt and pepper and they are quite yummy!

  2. So far we have only had two ripe tomatoes but luckily (I hardly dare say it out loud) no blight.

  3. oooh yes, you must try the fried green tomatoes!

  4. I hope none of your tomatoes have caught the blight.

  5. They are quite beautiful! How is the flavor?

  6. What a dismal year it has been in my veggie garden. The tomatoes have been the biggest disappointment. Only a handful of lovely ripe ones, so like you I am picking them green before the blight gets them. Luckily, though, my husband loves green tomato conserve. It's a bit like a ginger syrup and rather good when made with green tomatoes, served on fresh crusty bread. So at least he's happy :-)


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