But our mild weather has a down side. There just isn't enough heat every summer to ripen the tomatoes (or corn for that matter).
This summer has been lovely. It was a slow start, as usual, but the garden came on strong and has produced very well this year. The tomato plants were loaded with fruit. But the heat didn't come. Usually we get a week in August of 95 -100 F, followed by another week of 90 -95 F. Those temperatures "finish off" the tomatoes. Not this year. We broke 95 F a few times, but nothing sustained. And although September has been lovely with cool nights and days reaching 85 F, it's just not hot enough for the matters.
We try every trick in the book. Quit watering them. Poke a hole through the stem. Put red colored plastic underneath. Nope. So yesterday we made the decision to start processing the green tomatoes.
Thankfully we found a wonderful recipe for dilled green tomatoes in the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, 100th Anniversary Edition (2009). The recipe can be found here. We slice the tomatoes like sandwich pickles and the results are delicious!
Jeremy went down and picked the fruit from 3 of the 10 plants. Just 3 and here is how much he got ....
Seriously! I processed 20 pints and it only used 1/3 of that basket. There is no way I need to keep making dilled green tomatoes. Even if I gave a pint to each of my family and friends, we'd never get through all of the tomatoes on the plants this year.