We got out to the garden a couple of days ago, and on a whim, wheeled one of our yellow dump trucks with us. It made a great container for us to fill up with all the last-minute yellow pear tomatoes we could find. It was like a treasure hunt, peering into the jungle of tomato vines, trying to spot those beautiful golden gems. A few tiny red tomatoes were hiding in there too…which promptly ended up in Noah’s mouth as a juicy snack!
After loading up the tomatoes, we made a big production of driving the dump truck into the house, where we ate most of the harvest with our lunch. Some ended up in a pile on the counter, next to the last of our green peppers and one lone cucumber.
Each day we have been filling up our pockets with any green tomatoes we can find. The kids have found this hilarious: scandalous, even–for all summer long I have emphasized to ONLY pick the yellow or red tomatoes, NOT the green. They think they are getting away with something, plucking the green ones! But alas, all those green tomatoes are coming inside with us, for the warm ripening days are over. Of course tomatoes taste best when ripened on the vine, but we will try to get some more out of our last harvest by placing all the underripe ones into a paper bag with a banana. The ethylene gas released by the banana as it ripens will also help the tomatoes reach their potential. Last year we tried the same technique with an apple, and got pretty good results. I read that bananas release much larger amounts of ethylene than any other fruit (like apples), so we are curious to see if we get better results than we did with the apple.
(Note: Bananas, for all their wonderful qualities, are not a sustainable food source as sold conventionally. Many people who seek sustainable lifestyles and want to lessen harm to earth and their fellow earthlings have given up bananas completely. I have cut back, but have found it very difficult to give these amazing and versatile fruits. Keep an eye out for a discussion here on the blog about bananas and their place in a sustainable diet and world.)