Monday, September 7, 2015

Our Cherokee Purple Tomatoes

Cherokee Purple Tomatoes sliced and ready to eat.

We are fond of Cherokee Purple tomatoes at our house, so this year for the first time I planted four of these in our raised bed that we built last fall.  Cherokee purple is an heirloom cultivar that has a purplish red color while greenish near the stem when it is ready for eating.  Apparently this tomato is a century-old heirloom that originated with the Cherokee people.
Plants are taller than I am.

These plants grew so that they are taller than I am (I'm 5'7").  Supposedly they could grow up to 9 feet tall.  During the first of the summer some animal was eating all the tomatoes while they were still green, but during the last few weeks the green ones have remained on the vine untouched.  However, they are very slow to mature.
Tall tomato plants.
Green tomatoes on the vine.

Picked green tomatoes.  The small one had ripened on the vine.

Placed green tomatoes in bag with a ripe banana.
In order to speed up their ripening, I picked some of the larger green ones and placed them in a brown paper bag with a ripening banana. A ripe banana produces large amounts of ethylene gas. This ethylene gas causes the green tomatoes to ripen. 

This is the way producers get tomatoes to the stores.  Farmers pick the tomatoes while they are still green. Then these tomatoes are exposed to ethylene gas in the distribution facilities closer to the supermarkets! This is why vine ripened tomatoes taste much better! 

The banana produced ethylene that caused the tomatoes to ripen.

Several are ready for eating.  (I put some small tomatoes of another variety in the bag as well and they ripened.)

After about a week some of the green tomatoes have ripened, and eventually the others will too.  I will leave some of the green tomatoes on the vine to see if they will ripen on the vine before our first frost.   

I think we will have tomato (or where I come from 'mater) sandwiches for lunch.  Always with Duke's mayonaisse.

No comments:

Post a Comment