Save the Tomatoes!

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“Save the Tomatoes!” Ensign, Sept. 1983, 67

Save the Tomatoes!

Every fall as the temperatures near freezing at our New Mexico home, we are faced with a large crop of green tomatoes. Not wanting to be wasteful, we gather them in and ripen them in stacked, uncontaminated antifreeze boxes. These boxes are quite strong and can be stacked six-high, safely and neatly. (Auto parts stores in most parts of the United States are quite willing to give you these empty boxes.) With a little work, they become convenient tomato ripeners.

Leaving the top and bottom of the box intact, cut a large hole on each side, leaving 2 1/2 to 3 inches at each corner for support. (A single-edge razor knife makes the cutting easier.) With its four “windows” cut out, one unit is now complete.

Place a single layer of green tomatoes on the inside bottom of the box. (Remember to place the stem-end down; they will ripen better this way.) Repeat the procedure with the other boxes until you have all your tomatoes cared for; the boxes can then be stacked on top of each other. We place a pad of newspapers under the box in contact with the floor, although we have had no spoilage using this method.

One big advantage of this method is that it isn’t difficult to check the ripening progress frequently and use them as they ripen. Linda Zollinger, San Miguel, New Mexico