Ciao , ortolani della nostra terra,
Once you’ve successfully shepherded tomato plants through the summer perils and the frost is about to descend and devastate whatever is left, roll up your sleeves and harvest the green fruit left on the vine before it’s too late.
Even in late October, if the frost hasn’t arrived yet, healthy plants should have the top 1/3 of the canopy full of green tomatoes that can be ripened and consumed until Holiday time. Even though most people feel satisfied of having had a bounty during the month of August, they don’t realize there are still three more months left to enjoy the most popular vegetable grown in backyard gardens throughout the world.
For years I’ve seen friends and fellow gardeners wrap tomatoes in newspaper and unwrap them every once in a while to discover mold and rot. Bad habits are hard to shed. If you don’t like the taste of ink or moldy produce, there is an alternative.
Today is the dawn of a new day for new organic gardening enthusiasts and doing it the very old natural way is new again, plus it’s less labor intensive. If you want good tasting tomatoes, sever the stem of the plant at soil level, remove its leaves and hang it upside down in a shed, garage or basement, and enjoy the fruit of your labor for the remainder of the year. Tomatoes need a certain amount of air circulation to prevent spoilage when stored for a period of time, and this will give added air flow than if wrapped in newspaper, plus the stems supply additional nourishment before drying out. I’ve been practicing this technique for a while and it has worked quite well.
Nick Mancini, The Organic Italian