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.

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
How It Started Vs. How It’s Going

How It Started Vs. How It’s Going

When I first started homesteading, I had a burning desire to become more self-sufficient and live a more sustainable life. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a rebel at heart, and learning how to homestead and become more self-reliant was a way for me to...

read more

11 Frugal Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps

11 Frugal Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps

 Save money, reduce food waste and and improve everything from your soil to your gut health with this list of 11 frugal ways to use kitchen scraps in your home and garden. *** We’re such a wasteful society, especially here in the west. The mounds of waste...

read more

Do you dream of escaping the rat race and starting a homestead far from the chaos of the modern world?

It’s no surprise that in this day and age, more and more people are ready to leave it all behind and move to a property in the country where they can grow their own food, live a simpler life and become more self-sufficient and less dependent on “the system.” But as romantic as it sounds, it’s definitely easier said than done.

In the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, I sat down with Ann Accetta-Scott of @afarmgirlinthemaking to talk all about what people need to know about buying and selling a homestead property.

Ann and her husband Justin recently moved from their two-acre homestead outside of Seattle, Washington to a 40-acre homestead in rural Tennessee. Ann and I sat down to talk about the realities of buying and selling a homestead, moving across the country to pursue your homesteading dream, what to look for when you’re searching for your next property, pitfalls to avoid (if you can!), and what you can do if you’re not ready or in a position to make your move just yet.

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first homestead or trying to sell an existing homestead and upgrade to a bigger property, Ann had some great insights to share that can save you time, stress and money when you’re ready to make your move.

Check out the full interview in the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine: link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe, login to the library (if you’re already a subscriber) or view a sample of the current issue!

#modernhomesteading #homesteadersofinstagram #escapethematrix #selfsufficiency #selfreliance #selfsufficientliving
...

24 0

This is why people don’t trust our medical system!!!

I very rarely go on a rant about current events but this has me feeling really fired up…

My husband and I each got an Amber Alert on our phones the other night along with millions of other British Columbians, informing us of a child abduction in Vancouver. It made the suspect sound like a dangerous kidnapper and said “do not approach. Call 911.”

As it turns out, it was the mother of the child (a 3-year-old boy), who had refused medical treatment without getting a second opinion and follow up blood tests, so the Ministry of Child and Family Services was called, she was arrested and her son was taken from her and was administered medical treatment in the hospital without consent and without a guardian present.

There’s a lot more to this story than I’m able to share in this video or this caption, so I’ll post some links below where you can hear directly from the mom what happened, and check out other IG accounts that have been in direct contact with her and the father. But the point is this was a GROSS misuse of our Amber Alert system, a GROSS abuse of power (turns out the boy wasn’t sick in the end anyway), and has now traumatized this family for life.

Doctors are not gods and as mothers we do not co-parent with the government!!!

This hits close to home for me because I too have been through the medical system and had my concerns dismissed, was misdiagnosed and given wrong information, and was treated with obvious contempt when I got a second opinion.

In this day and age of rampant medical coercion and the erosion of bodily autonomy over our own bodies and over those of our children, this story highlights the dangers of the very slippery slope we’re on.

As parents who only have the best interests of our children at heart, this could happen to any one of us. We can’t let this be normalized. Remember “first they came for (fill in the blank), and I said nothing. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Check out my stories for the full video that the mom, Wiloh made explaining the details of what happened or check out the comments for links to learn more & support this family.
...

77 26

I’ve hesitated about posting this reel over and over because I know I’ll probably get backlash, hate and vitriol from some people in return. But I wouldn’t be being true to myself if I didn’t speak the truth that’s on my heart and mind…

If you haven’t noticed, there are currently thousands of Canadians sharing their stories and using the hashtag #trudeaumustgo on their social media posts right now in response to the divisive rhetoric and actions of our prime minister over the past few months. But our media has downplayed the issue and has attributed most of the hashtags to “bot” accounts and foreigners trying to influence our politics.

In response, real Canadians are making videos and sharing their stories to show that we are not bots, but real people who have been negatively affected by the words and actions of our leaders, particularly our leader at the top.

I used to consider myself a lifelong leftist and have supported the liberal government and Trudeau over the years, but after what I’ve witnessed over the past few months; After how he has spoken about Canadians who have made a different medical choice or who have protested mandates (which have done nothing to stop the spread of you-know-what anyway); After the hate and division that has trickled down from the top and infiltrated our communities, I can no longer stand silently by.

While I am 💉, a few months ago when I voiced my support for those who stood up against mandates and against the division being pushed on us by our leadership, I suddenly found myself among what our prime minister called the “small fringe minority” of citizens with “unacceptable views.”

I lost followers, friends and even a couple family members. I was told I’d been “radicalized,” although my views have never changed.

So today I’m adding my voice to the chorus of real, everyday Canadians who are taking a stand against tyranny and division in this country. As the saying goes, if we do not stand for something, we’ll fall for anything. I stand for freedom & autonomy, and against division & tyranny.

#trudeaumustgo

(Special thanks to fellow 🇨🇦 homesteader @meggarlandd for inspiring me & giving me the courage to post this:)
...

271 59

What would you do if the grid went down?

Imagine not just the lights going out, but all power, all digital communication and information. Would you be prepared?

A lot of us THINK we’re prepared for a grid down situation, but unless you’re already living off grid, you might not realize how dependent on technology we really are!

In the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, contributor Ashley Constance of @dirtypawshomestead and @alittleselfreliant shares her experience voluntarily going without power for the day, and what she and her husband, Shawn learned from their grid down experiment.

You might be surprised at the things they discovered and missed on their prep list, and it might prompt you to reevaluate whether you’re ready in case the grid goes down, or even just Google 😱

Check out the full story in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

#modernhomesteadingmagazine #homesteadersofinstagram #homesteading #modernhomesteading #prepping #nationalpreparednessmonth
...

25 0

The other day when I had a few minutes to spare, I was out in the garden doing a little work when my neighbour said hi over the fence.

I lamented to her about how busy we’ve been and how hard it’s been to keep on top of this year. Very sincerely, she replied “wait until you have another one,” referring to our baby on the way.

“You’ll be moving back to the suburbs so quick, mark my words,” she said.

Now, I don’t for a second think there was any ill intent behind her statement, but still, it took me aback.

“We’ll never move back to the city or the suburbs,” I replied with a laugh. “This may be hard work but we love it.”

She then repeated her statement and followed it up with “just you wait and see.”

I decided not to continue the back and forth. After all, I told myself, it doesn’t matter if she or anyone else knows what’s truly in your heart. It doesn’t matter if she understands that there’s no amount of difficulty that would make me run back to the suburbs and leave this life behind. In fact, our dream is to upgrade to a bigger property someday where we can grow an even bigger garden and add more livestock to our homestead!

Likewise, I visited the city last weekend for a family event and as always, I had at least a couple people ask me “so when are you moving back to the city?”

Seven years later, and still we have friends and family members who think this is just a phase we’re going through, and eventually we’ll come to our senses and move back.

I used to get offended by these questions because I felt unseen; I felt like nobody took this life that I’m so passionate about seriously, and thought it was “cute” that I was “playing farmer” for a bit, but eventually I had to grow up and become part of the “real world” once again.

Now I just smile and reply “never:)”

Can you relate? How do you (politely) respond when someone questions your lifestyle choices or implies that you’ll eventually come to your senses and come back to “reality”?

Let me know below 👇
...

83 16

The fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine just dropped!

In this issue you’ll find:

• Preparedness tips, tricks and advice to help you be ready for anything on the homestead (and in life!)
•The ultimate guide to growing garlic at home and it as both food and medicine
• Drool-worthy recipes that feature garlic as the star!
• Expert advice from A Farmgirl in the Making’s Ann Accetta-Scott on what to look for (and look out for) when buying or selling a homestead property
• Advice on how to learn and grow from perceived homesteading “failures”

And more!!!

Go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com or click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to subscribe or login to the library and read the latest issue if you’re already subscribed!
...

30 3

When I first started homesteading, I had a burning desire to become more self-sufficient and live a more sustainable life.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a rebel at heart, and learning how to homestead and become more self-reliant was a way for me to “throw a proverbial middle finger to the system” and live life on my own terms.

As a teenager, I was the girl who drove around town with punk rock music blaring from my car, Misfits sticker on the back and studs around my wrists. I felt misunderstood and angsty and like I desperately didn’t fit in with the world I grew up in.

I always knew in my soul that I wanted something different; Something more.

Today I’m the mama with stretch marks on my belly and battle scars on my heart. I’m the woman who gardens and cans food and makes her own tinctures and believes in something greater than herself and fights every day to stay free in a world that feels increasingly engineered to keep us hopelessly dependent.

Today I feel whole and at peace, and connected to a higher power and a higher purpose. I feel like I’ve finally found the place where I belong.

This journey has been about so much more than homesteading for me, and I've learned, lost, gained and loved so much more than I ever could have imagined.

Because, as I've said before, homesteading doesn't happen in a vacuum. Life is always happening at the same time.

This is the full, raw and unfiltered story of my homesteading journey, and how I've gained so much more than a pantry full of food along the way.

Click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to read more or check it out here >> https://thehouseandhomestead.com/how-it-started-how-its-going
...

65 5

The news we’ve all been waiting for…

IT’S A BOY!!!

After so many years and too many losses, our hearts are so full and it feels like we are inching closer to our family finally being complete.

I’ve always known in my heart and soul that we were meant to have a girl and a boy. I know, it sounds cliché and very “nuclear family,” but years ago I saw a psychic who told me I would have a girl who loved to be centre stage and had a personality larger than life, very much how our daughter has turned out!

She also said I would have a boy who would be much more introverted and in tune with nature and with his own intuition. That’s yet to be seen, but I’ve always had this unwavering vision of a son and a daughter that fit these descriptions, and my heart has been set on a son ever since we had Evelyn.

Of course, things went sideways for a few years. Shortly after Evelyn was born, I became pregnant again, but we made the heartbreaking decision to terminate that pregnancy at 24 weeks due to a severe medical diagnosis. We lost our son, Phoenix Rain on June 15, 2018. Our hearts were shattered and have never fully healed.

Over the next few years, I had 3 more early miscarriages. None of the doctors knew what was causing them as most didn’t seem to have any sort of genetic explanation. We were told it was “something environmental,” but weren’t given any clues as to what that could be.

After pushing to see several specialists last year (after our most recent loss), and being told once again that there was “nothing wrong with me,” I finally got another opinion and found out I had something called Chronic Endometritis: A low-grade infection in my uterus that I believe in my heart was caused by my c-section with our daughter; A c-section I didn’t want and probably didn’t need, but felt I needed because I was under pressure to make a decision before the surgeon went off duty.

I’ll never know for sure, but when I pushed for more testing and finally got a simple round of antibiotics, the endometritis cleared up. I got pregnant again almost immediately and so far we now have a healthy baby boy on the way.

(Continued in comments…)
...

548 43

We’re living through interesting times. Many people have even used the term “unprecedented times,” and while that may be true in that there has perhaps never been another time in history when we’ve faced so many existential threats all at once (ie. a global pandemic, climate change, political divisions, AI advancing at an incredible rate, cyber attacks, nuclear threats, globalization, food shortages, supply chain issues, hyperinflation, social media and the age of information/misinformation, etc. etc. all converging at once). But despite all of this, we are not the first generation(s) of humans to face hardships and threats of great magnitude, and in fact we’ve had it better than any other previous generations for most of our lives, especially here in the west.

The fact is, there are lots of things we can do to ensure we’re not sitting ducks when these threats come knocking at our door. But it takes action on our part, not waiting around for someone else to fix things or take care of us.

In the Summer issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, I sat down with The Grow Network’s Marjory Wildcraft to talk all about the realities of our current climate, including worsening inflation and looming global food shortages, as well as what every day people like you and I can actually DO to improve our food security, become more self-sufficient, care for our families and communities and ensure our own survival and wellbeing even in difficult and uncertain times like these.

While I don’t believe in fear mongering, I do believe in acknowledging hard truths and not burying your head in the sand. That being said, things may very well get worse before they get better, and we would all do well to start learning the necessary skills, stocking up on essential resources and preparing now while there’s still time.

Check out the full interview in the summer issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. Link in bio @anna.sakawsky to subscribe or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe or login and read the current issue.

#foodshortages #selfsufficiency #selfreliance #foodsecurity #foodsecurityisfreedom #homesteading #growyourownfood #fightinflation #stayfree
...

19 0

If you’re like most homesteaders, you probably have a pile of scrap materials laying somewhere on your property, all with the “intention” of being resourceful and using those scrap pieces for future projects. And let’s be honest: With inflation and the cost of lumber and, well, pretty much everything these days, being resourceful with our scraps isn’t just practical, it’s downright necessary in many cases!

But the reality is that it’s often much easier to accumulate scrap pieces than it is to actually put them to good use, and if we’re not careful and discerning with what we keep on hand, that scrap pile full of homesteader gold can quickly turn into a junk pile of clutter taking up space on our property.

In the Summer issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, our resident handyman (my dear husband @ryan.sakawsky ;) shares his best tips for how to put your scrap pile to good use and knock some projects off your list while the weather’s still good, including which materials are worth saving and which ones aren’t.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the summer issue yet, you can subscribe via the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky (or login to the library if you’re a already a subscriber) or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

Do you keep a scrap pile? If so, what sort of materials do you have laying around?

#scrappile #modernhomesteading #homesteading #diy #getscrappy #resourcefulness #inflation #beatinflation
...

28 1

What’s doing well in your garden this year??

Every year in the garden, some things don’t do so well. We tend to focus on the failures, but there is abundance all around us if we just look in the right places.

This year our raspberries have been incredibly productive, but I didn’t even really notice until recently because I was too focused on the things that weren’t doing well.

No matter what area of life you’re feeling lack or scarcity or dealing with “failure” in, remember that it’s all a matter of perspective.

Sometimes we just need to look a little harder to find the blessings, but when you finally see them you’ll wonder how you possibly could have missed them in the first place.

Our broccoli might have bombed and our tomatoes and peppers might not ripen and our strawberries may have been ravaged by pests and disease, but we’ll be eating raspberries from our garden well into the winter months this year, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

What are you grateful for??

(P.S. Since Instagram is very much a “highlight reel” of everybody’s best selves, I totally plan on sharing our garden failures soon too. Stay tuned 😜)
...

38 1

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal