How to Ripen Green Tomatoes Indoors


Do you still have tomatoes that are struggling to redden? Read on for an easy method to ripen green tomatoes indoors with almost no effort!We’ve had a summer growing season as strange and unpredictable as 2020 itself. Despite a warm, sunny spring, the summer got off to an unseasonably cool, wet start in June and July. This meant that some of our heat-loving crops like tomatoes and peppers got off to a slow start too.

Normally we start our tomato seeds in late February or early March, and by July we’re starting to pull in tomatoes form our garden. Last year we were practically swimming in ripe, red tomatoes by the beginning of August. Every single red tomato we enjoyed was vine-ripened and full of the most amazing flavour.

 

We were drowning in ripe tomatoes… last year

By the end of the season last year, we had a bunch of green tomatoes left over too. We made green tomato relish and chutney, we ate fried green tomatoes. I made a fermented green tomato and hot pepper hot sauce that was out of this world.

And still, the tomatoes just kept coming. There were more tomatoes than we knew what to do with! In fact, we were so sick of tomatoes that by the end of the season I started giving baskets of green tomatoes away.

But even after all of that tomato-production and all of the jars of tomato preserves we enjoyed all year, by the time summer rolled around again this year we were completely out of every tomato-based product we’d put up last year.

Obviously we eat a lot of tomatoes throughout the year, so it makes sense for us to grow as many as we possibly can. That being said, we increased our crop from 30 plants to about 40 plants this year AND started our seeds a few weeks early this year.

Naturally, we expected to be drowning in ripe tomatoes once again by midsummer, but when August rolled around again this year, there was nary a ripe tomato to be found.

 

Related: 6 Hacks for Growing a Bumper Crop of Tomatoes

 

When tomatoes don’t ripen…

Now, don’t get me wrong, there were lots of tomatoes on our plants. But they were all green! The lack of heat and direct sun meant they were ripening at the speed of molasses.

By the end of August, I was seriously starting to panic, wondering if we’d be able to put up enough jars of tomato sauce to get us through this year or if we’d have to rely on grocery store tomato sauce instead. (This is the stuff of nightmares for me).

I held out hope that we’d get a hot spell in September and that the pounds and pounds of green tomatoes in our garden would get a chance to ripen after all. Finally, in the first week of September, the weather forecast read full sun and hot temps. We were certain this would be the lucky break our tomatoes needed.

For two or three days, the sun shone and everything went crazy in the garden. Clusters of tomatoes all began ripening at once, pumpkins started growing and the cucumbers and zucchinis went nuts. Even our little watermelon plant started givin’er!

 

A disappointing end to summer

But as soon as the sun came out, the smoke rolled in from the west coast wildfires and that was that. We were back to grey skies and lukewarm temps. Boo!

That pretty much sealed the fate of our tomato plants. The smoke stuck around for a solid 10 days or so, and now that it’s finally cleared out, the rain clouds have moved in and fall is well and truly here. The tomatoes are still hanging on and some are ripening slowly, but we’ve come to terms with the fact that we are going to be harvesting mostly green tomatoes this year.

We’ll be making lots more of the green tomato relish (my fave!) and chutney (my husband’s fave:), and I’ll definitely be fermenting them along with our jalapeños and enjoying them breaded and fried and dipped in ranch dressing. I’m good with all of that. But I’m NOT good with having little to no tomato sauce or salsa on our  pantry shelves this winter.

Luckily, there is a trick we’ve been using to get our green tomatoes to ripen as we pull them indoors. It’s an old trick that I remember my great grandma used to use when harvesting her green or underripe tomatoes. (Maybe yours did too?) It’s really quite simple, and we’ve been having great success with it so far this year, so I knew I had to share it with you.

Okay, are you ready?

Here’s what you do…

Do you still have tomatoes that are struggling to redden? Read on for an easy method to ripen green tomatoes indoors with almost no effort!

How to ripen green tomatoes indoors

Step 1: Harvest your green tomatoes and bring them inside.

Step 2: Place them in a single layer in a crate, basket or cardboard box with good airflow all around. Put a layer of newspaper or brown bag/kraft paper in between additional layers if you have lots of tomatoes. Then, place the tomatoes somewhere out of direct sunlight (I’ve heard lots of people put them under their bed).

Step 3: Do nothing. Seriously, it’s that simple. The tomatoes will ripen all on their own.

Step 4: Check them every two or three days and remove tomatoes as they ripen to eat or process for preserving. (I just toss mine in the freezer until I have enough to make a batch of sauce).

Step 5: Repeat until all of your green tomatoes have ripened!

 

How fast do green tomatoes ripen indoors?

How fast your green  tomatoes will ripen indoors depends on a couple things, including how ripe they were when you picked them (tomatoes that were yellow or starting to turn red will ripen quicker), as well as how warm it is in the room where you’re storing them (keep them away from direct sources of heat like heaters or wood stoves). But they will all ripen in time.

Now, in my opinion, the flavour still isn’t quite the same as a vine-ripened tomato. Nothing beats that. But tomatoes ripened indoors still make a damn good sauce, which is what my most recent batch of “box-ripened” tomatoes is about to become.

Do you still have tomatoes that are struggling to redden? Read on for an easy method to ripen green tomatoes indoors with almost no effort!

These tomatoes were all yellowish green when I first put them in this crate. Some were just starting to turn red. Just 4 days later and they’re almost all fully ripened!

 

When to pull tomatoes (and when NOT to leave them on the vine)

I’m looking at the forecast now and wouldn’t ya know, it says we’re expecting full sun next week. But the temperature is starting to drop and, being that it’s 2020, I’m not taking any chances. (Tomatoes can withstand temperatures down to 10ºC / 50ºF, but if temperatures are expected to drop below that then you should probably pull them, even if they’re green).

My plan is to leave the really green tomatoes on the vine for as long as I can and hope that the sun helps to at least get them started next week, but any tomatoes that have any colour on them now are coming inside.

Once I’m fully satisfied that we’ve got enough red, ripe tomatoes to give us a year’s worth of tomato sauce, then and only then will I surrender and submit to eating them green. Because, let’s face it, as delicious as green tomatoes can be, nobody grows tomatoes with the intention of harvesting them green.

Tomatoes are meant to ripen! They’re meant to become beautiful jars of rich, red tomato sauce. It’s their destiny, and damnit, it’s my responsibility as the gardener to help them fulfill it… one way or another;)

What do YOU do with green tomatoes? Do you have any tricks for getting them to ripen, either on or off the vine? What’s your favourite recipe or way to enjoy green tomatoes? Let me know in the comments below!

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness:)

 

 

 

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

6 Comments

  1. Lynda

    If you have room ..I have pulled up the plants tomatoes and all then hung them upside down in my protected shed.. they ripen one by one and I harvest each in its turn. Old ways from growing up with a rootcellar.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Ya I’ve heard of this method too, but I’ve heard it’s not really any quicker than ripening them in a box.

      Reply
  2. Rachel C.

    I picked all of mine Tuesday night and boxed them Wednesday morning. It’s been pouring and windy the past two days and we don’t have sun in the forecast until Monday. My trick is to add a few green bananas tucked into the layers to help speed the process.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Oh I feel like I’ve heard that before… About the green bananas. There must be an enzyme in them or something. I’ll have to experiment with that!

      Reply
      • chris

        I put an apple in the box with mine, but check them EVERY day!

        Reply
        • Anna Sakawsky

          Interesting. Mine seem to be ripening on their own so, so far so good!

          Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
My Favourite Things – 2022 Edition (aka. The Modern Homesteader’s Christmas Wish List)

My Favourite Things – 2022 Edition (aka. The Modern Homesteader’s Christmas Wish List)

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   Every year around this time, I compile a list of my favourite things: Things that I love, use or covet for my own homestead, and things that I know other modern...

read more

Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe (Dehydrator + Oven Instructions)

Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe (Dehydrator + Oven Instructions)

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   Homemade beef jerky is a delicious way to preserve meat for food storage and for easy transport to take on hikes, camping trips, road trips and to pack in a...

read more

“Not eating mushrooms is like not eating an entire food group… And a healthy one.”

Mushrooms have had a bit of a bad rap in the west for a long time. Depending on the type of mushroom in question, they’ve either been regarded as something to turn your nose up at or even something to be afraid of.

But in recent years mushrooms have started gaining momentum as both medicine and superfoods, and with more and more people looking for natural alternatives to conventional (and often harmful) prescription drugs, psychedelic mushrooms are even being legalized and used in small (micro) doses to treat mental health issues with promising results.

The story of mushrooms and the entire fungi kingdom is as complex and captivating as the mycelium networks they fruit from, and the potential health and wellness benefits of adding more mushrooms into our diets and lives are only just beginning to be understood.

I sat down with Louis Giller of @northsporemushrooms for the winter issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine to talk all about the wonderful world of fabulous fungi, how to get started foraging or growing mushrooms at home (even if you live in an apartment!), and why mushrooms of all kinds (edible, medicinal and psychedelic) are rightfully having a moment right now.

If becoming more self-sufficient and optimizing your overall health and wellness is part of your master plan for 2023, mushrooms should definitely be a part of your approach.

Start by checking out my full interview with Louis in the winter issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine - Link in bio to sign in or subscribe.

And while you’re there, be sure to check out our feature on medicinal mushrooms, as well as our elevated mushroom recipes, all of which make perfect winter meals for your family table.

Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or head to https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

#mushrooms #medicinalmushrooms #eatyourshrooms #fantasticfungi #homesteading #modernhomesteading
...

13 0

When I first started growing my own food at home, the gardening world seemed pretty black and white to me: plants grow in the dirt, outdoors, in the spring and summer. That’s what us city kids always learned in school anyway.⁣

And obviously that’s not wrong, but once you get into gardening and growing food, a world full of endless possibilities starts to open up, including growing food indoors year-round.⁣

Sprouts are considered to be a superfood because of how nutrient dense they are and when we eat them, we get the health benefits of all of those nutrients in our own bodies.⁣

If you live in a climate that remains colder half the year or more, sprouts can be an excellent way to get the benefits of gardening even when it's not "gardening season". ⁣

I've got a full list of tips & tricks on growing sprouts indoors all year round that includes: ⁣

-How to grow sprouts⁣
-Different ways to use them ⁣
-Where to buy seeds and more! ⁣

Visit this link https://thehouseandhomestead.com/grow-sprouts-indoors/ or check the link in my bio to see all the details.
...

16 4

Living a slow, simple life isn’t easy in this fast-paced world.

No matter how much I preach it to everyone else, I still struggle with the guilt, shame and “not enough-ness” that I feel every time I choose rest, relaxation, stillness, disconnectedness or being “unproductive” when I feel I SHOULD be working, hustling, moving, checking emails and being “productive” (which is almost always).

We all know that our culture praises productivity and busy-ness, and most of us know it’s a scam that keeps us stressed, burnt out and focused on the wrong things in life. Ultimately many of us end up feeling unfulfilled even though we’re spinning our wheels every day working to keep up with the demands of the world and our never-ending to-do list. Most of us would rather be resting, relaxing, spending quality time with our loved ones and doing things that light us up rather than simply keep us busy. But it’s hard to break free from the societal pressure to do more, produce more, earn more, acquire more and ultimately BE more.

So while I still struggle with this daily, and I don’t have any easy answers for how to overcome this, I wanted to share that today I’m choosing slow; Today I’m choosing to be present in the here and now rather than worrying about yesterday or tomorrow; Today I’m choosing snuggles with my baby boy over emails and deadlines, and while I still feel that guilt rising up inside me, I’m making a conscious effort to remind myself that the world won’t end because I chose to slow down today, and at the end of my life I won’t regret taking this time with my son, but I might regret NOT slowing down to enjoy it.

I encourage you to apply the same thought process to your own life and give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy the gift of time you’ve been given today. After all, you never know when it might be your last day. And if it were your last, how would you wish you’d spent it?
...

148 20

In the dark, bitter cold days of midwinter when we’ve been deprived of quality time in the sunshine and the trees are all bare, it can be easy for almost anyone to feel depressed and to overlook the tiny miracles that are happening all around us.⁣

Signs of life abound, even in the dead of winter! ⁣

Connect with nature and enjoy the little things to help beat the winter blues. Go for a walk in the woods or the park and really pay attention to the natural world around you. Watch the songbirds flitting back and forth, gathering winter berries. Look for signs of greenery and new growth; Maybe even some snowdrops or crocuses have begun to emerge from the ground where you live. ⁣

If you're feeling the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) right now, please check out my full list of Natural Ways to Combat SAD and additional resources to seek out help from various care providers here https://thehouseandhomestead.com/natural-ways-treat-seasonal-affective-disorder/ or visit the link my bio. ⁣

Spring is coming!
...

70 2

While most people run to the store every time they need something, you and I are not most people. Oh no friend… We are modern homesteaders.⁣

We’re a special breed, and one thing that sets us apart is that we are always thinking about preparing for the future and about stocking up when the things are abundant (and cheap!) which they aren't so much right now. ⁣

When it comes to citrus fruits, if you live in a place where you can grow them yourself, then you’ll probably have more than you can handle fresh when they’re in season. Knowing how to preserve them will help ensure nothing gets wasted.⁣

Whether you're a seasoned homesteader or this is your first season preserving, I've got a hearty list of ideas of how to get the most out of your citrus fruits for the year to come! Visit the full list here https://thehouseandhomestead.com/12-ways-use-preserve-citrus-fruits/ or check out the link in my bio. ⁣

What do you usually do with your extra citrus fruits? Have you tried any of these preservation methods?⁣

Let me know in the comments below!
...

19 1

Checking in on all my #homesteadpantrychallenge participants today :) ⁣

During the pantry challenge I always find it pretty easy to make my way through the canned items. A side dish here, a breakfast there, but what about bulk items that we have on hand like bags of sugar and flour?⁣

Well have no fear, this bread recipe is a game-changer! Not only does it only require 3 simple ingredients (plus water), it can be whipped up in a bowl using an ordinary kitchen spoon and it comes out perfect every time. It will help you make your way through that 5lb bag of flour just sitting on the shelf, and it only takes a couple minutes to prepare. ⁣

This is a really nice bread to dip in olive oil and balsamic vinegar or as part of a spread or cheese board. For the full recipe click here https://thehouseandhomestead.com/easy-no-knead-homemade-bread/ or visit the link in my bio. ⁣

Let me know how it turns out and if you decide to add any herbs or other toppings to spice it up, I want to hear about it!
...

14 0

I’ve tried my hand at many skills and tackled my share of adventurous projects over the years. Along my homesteading and journey I’ve tried everything from candle-making to cheesemaking, sourdough bread to fermented vegetables, canning and dehydrating to rendering lard and more. When it comes to home medicine, I’ve learned how to make may useful concoctions, from herbal teas, tinctures and syrups to poultices, salves, ciders and more. But encapsulating my own placenta after the birth of our son was definitely a first, and by far my most adventurous “kitchen project” and foray into home medicine so far.

I have to admit, I was a bit squeamish at first, but I’m fascinated by this kind of stuff and love learning skills that allow me to take my health and well-being into my own hands. I also love challenging myself to try new things and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

A few of the possible benefits of consuming placenta after birth include:

• Hormones in the placenta can improve mood and lessen symptoms of postpartum depression
• Can reduce postpartum bleeding
• Provides a natural source of iron and other micronutrients
• Can help boost milk production

And did you know, around 99% of mammals are know to consume their placenta after birth? Only humans and marine mammals do not typically consume their placenta.

But more and more humans are opting to consume their placentas after birth to reap the potential health benefits. The most popular way to do so is through encapsulation.

First the placenta is steamed, then it is sliced thin and dehydrated before being ground up into a fine powder. The you add that powder into some capsules using an encapsulator and you’re done!

I’ve been taking 2 capsules 4x/day for the past week. Any real results are yet to be seen but I didn’t want to pass up the only chance I’ll probably get to try my hand at this home medicine project! I mean, you just never know when this skill might come in handy;)

So tell me, what’s the most adventurous thing YOU’VE tried in the name of homesteading and/or natural health? Comment below and let me know!
...

136 16

Since the weather is often cold, dark and gloomy, there aren’t as many fun, free things to do outdoors, so it’s easy to blow your budget on other things that will help you beat cabin fever like eating out, going to the movies and even going shopping just for something to do.⁣

But the flip side to this is that, once January hits, many people are motivated by the fresh start the new year brings and are ready to hunker down for a while and get their finances on track after the holidays. So in many ways that makes winter the perfect time of year to adopt some frugal habits. ⁣

Visit this link https://thehouseandhomestead.com/12-frugal-living-tips-for-winter/ or the link in my bio for the full list of Frugal Winter Living tips, and if you're already looking and planning towards Spring you'll also find more frugal living tips for every season linked at the bottom of the list!
...

19 1

Our#homesteadpantrychallenge is in full-swing and now that our little one has arrived, simple and frugal pantry meals are a necessity to ensure we are getting adequate rest and not overdoing it during these newborn days. ⁣

When I'm staring at the pantry wondering what to make, I love referring back to this list for a little bit of inspiration for either bringing back an old recipe, or creating a new one. ⁣

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁'𝘀 𝗜𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝗱𝗲𝗱: ⁣
Breakfasts⁣
Soups⁣
Homemade Breads⁣
Main Dishes⁣
Snacks & Sides⁣
Sweets & Treats⁣

So whether you’re trying to save a little extra money on your grocery bill, or prioritizing rest this season these 35 frugal recipes will help you get good, wholesome, delicious homemade food on the table every day, which means you have one less thing to stress about. ⁣

Check out the full list at https://thehouseandhomestead.com/frugal-recipes-roundup/ or visit the link in my bio. ⁣

Eat well friends:)
...

22 1

I hope you had a wonderful and restful end of holidays, and are also feeling ready to get back on track with your daily schedule here in the new year. It can sometimes feel like a lot to get going, but those "regular days" help us to regulate our rhythms, and in turn help us slowly, gear up for the Spring season ahead. ⁣

In our Winter Issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, my friend and fellow homesteader, Ashley Constance of @alittleselfreliant wrote "Breaking Your Cabin Fever" a list of ideas for staying productive over the winter months. ⁣

If you're feeling a bit restless and up to it, this list of ideas is a perfect way to get back into a daily routine. ⁣

From making and creating, to preparing, planning and organizing you'll be feeling ready for Spring in no time. ⁣

To see the full list, subscribe to Modern Homesteading Magazine here at https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com/subscribe/ or visit the link in my bio.
...

37 0

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal