I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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September 30, 2010

real homegrown tomatoes

A few mornings ago, Dashiell and I were walking back from Peets after a run and I stopped to ask one of our neighbors about her tomatoes. We live in a neighborhood that was for a long time a little Japanese community, where everyone has fruit trees and vegetable gardens in their backyards. One of the older, original residents grows tomatoes in her front planter and I’ve been watching them all summer. She DOESN’T sucker her tomatoes as she goes. And of course I’ve been thinking, well, how can hers be any good???

But then Tuesday she was out there raking up the stems and leaves she’d just removed, now that her plants are huge and bearing fruit. I had to ask. She’s clearly been doing this for decades and must know something the rest of us don’t.

So she says that she pulls off all the extra branches and leaves after the plants have fruited. AND she picks the tomatoes when they’re green and lets them ripen inside the house. She sent me along with a bag full to try.

They were delicious. I had one on a bagel in the morning and for dinner we had caprese (of course) and a raw zucchini salad with tomatoes and pinenuts.

I’m thinking of trying the indoor ripening. Seems like it would take the threat of mealiness out of the equation, since they’re not getting any water while they ripen? I love relying on old pros for advice. And they’re always so eager to share. Next year. Next year my tomatoes will be stupendous.


  1. cevd said on September 30, 2010

    ohhh indoor ripening? i'm going and grabbing our green ones now as it has been POURING for the past week.

  2. Caroline said on September 30, 2010

    Wow! I love tips like these passed on from one person to another. It makes for great fruit and vegetables and even better, a wonderful story. That bagel looks delicious! Hope all is well! xo

  3. Rachel said on September 30, 2010

    There are so many tomato methods! It's overwhelming. I just leave it all to D, because they're his babies.

  4. lmt said on September 30, 2010

    Perfect timing. I just returned from the Farmer's Market and now have the most beautiful tomatoes. Aaahh, the smell of fresh tomatoes… I'll have to try that raw zuchinni salad too. Do you have a dressing you use with it?

  5. Char said on September 30, 2010

    they make a beautiful sandwich for sure

  6. katie said on September 30, 2010

    That's how we do it here in the South! Ripening tomatoes also make beautiful kitchen decor… enjoy!

  7. Heather said on September 30, 2010

    I just started growing some little container tomatoes and was surprised that my first ripe tomato was mealy and didn't taste as good as my grandma's fresh off the vine ones! I was very disappointed. I'll have to try the inside ripening and see if that works!

  8. Jacqui said on October 1, 2010

    my mum picks hers just as they start to colour most of the time, not totally green, then ripens inside. It also helps to reduce bugs/birds eating them.

  9. {lovely little things} said on October 2, 2010

    It's official – I need to start growing tomatoes!

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