We had a very late frost here in Southwest Idaho this year. I believe the first really hard frost waited until the very beginning of November, but I could be mistaken, my memory is a bit blurred. Regardless of that frost date, I went out and harvested every single green tomato and bell pepper in my garden when I knew it was coming. I filled two huge bowls with each and they sat on my kitchen bar top all fall and even into winter. I'm still kicking myself for not photographing their transition. It was really fun watching them ripen a little at a time and the bowls just kept getting less and less full as the seasons transitioned.
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In fact, this was a bowl of peppers we ate on New Year's Day. The very last of the peppers from my garden brought me all the way to 2011.
Still fresh and crunchy(they had to be moved to the fridge in the last few weeks). Considering the fact that most of my peppers waited until about the end of September to start ripening, I was really thankful that things worked out this way. I will start them outside much earlier and protect them from the frost if it continues, as it did last year, until June (!!!).
Peppers take a long time to grow and ripen.
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There were also tomatoes.
This bowl of tomatoes was the very last of what I picked and watched turn and dwindle. They were not as yummy as sun ripened tomatoes, but they were a far cry from the store bought variety. Now I think we can just wait for tomatoes until July again. I see no point in eating plastic. Our salads can live without them and my pantry shelves are full to brimming with tomatoes in jars. Whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, and pasta sauce (dwindling much too quickly for my liking.)
In the past I've tried storing the tomatoes in the basement all wrapped in paper and tucked away safe. Mostly they rotted, and I did end up chucking some of these as they softened before they were fully ripe, but overall they ripened slowly and we ate them as they were ready. Plus there was no tricky storage involved. Win-win.


  1. My tomatoes didn't even fruit until the first week in November. I picked them all green in mid november and am still eating them! I shake my head everytime, thinking that I'm eating "fresh" tomatoes in January! We just used the last bag of your frozen tomatoes last week. I wanted to cry, but like you I can wait until summer and can't WAIT to get my garden started again.

  2. Beautiful! For some reason when we pick our tomatoes green, they always start to rot before they ripen. Any suggestions?

  3. Heather, your garden and boutny contiues to amaze and totally impress me! I always end up tossing bad veggies out b/c they molded early or went bad b/c we didn't eat them quick enough. Maybe I need a smaller garden? I always get a bit crazed when it comes to planting things.


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