Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First harvests!

Still feeling sick and weak, and i've lost my voice completely. So i had no choice but to stay home another day.

But that's ok because seeing these babies in our garden made me feel so much better.

The tomatoes are ripe!

And they're so teeny!

We picked the two ripest ones off the plant and ate them after washing.

Here's how to tell when to pick your tomatoes in the garden.

1. When they turn orangey red (although in some warm climates they do not turn red because the substance that makes them turn red do not form if temperatures are too high)

2. When they are firm to the touch. You don't want them to be rock-hard, or too soft. When they are too soft, they will attract birds and other garden pests.

3. Pick the ripest ones when you want to use them and let the others mature on the plant. It's not good to pick them all at once unless you want to freeze or use them for preserves. They do not last a long time after picking, even when kept in the fridge.

4. If summer has passed and you still have some green tomatoes on the plant, do not leave them. Pick them all off, throw them into a box with some ripe apples for a couple of days and you'll see that they'll ripen. That's because ripening apples produce a gas called ethylene that accelerates the ripening process. Cool huh?

We are eyeing the jalapeno next. Yay!

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