End of the garden

Frost is coming. Yesterday it was time to get in the last of the tomatoes, green ones too.
We wrap them in newspaper three or five at a time, box them up, and set them out in the cool garage.

Within a couple of weeks they’ll begin to redden up, just as they would have in the garden if the warm weather had held out longer. Maybe not quite as sweet, but every bit as good as store tomatoes.  With them sitting in the garage, I usually don’t have to get into my canned tomatoes until December.

Also yesterday the last of the grapes came in.  Concords, sweet and seedy, but perfect for grape juice and grape jelly (recipe here | video here).

By the end of the day we had three dozen more jars to tuck into the pantry. But where? Time to rearrange again. And to be thankful for the bounty of the season.


  1. I want to come to your house and learn how to can and make all those beautiful jars that line your shelves! Of course, I’m horrible at growing stuff but that shouldn’t matter right? 🙂

    • O.k. everyone…let’s vote…who thinks Mary should have a workshop in or near her home to show us all her cool cooking tricks? LOL! LOL! Seriously, I know it must be hard work for you Mary but life just sounds so amazing from the kids, to the cooking. Love this blog! 🙂

  2. Julie, I am with you! I’d love to learn how to can. Afraid to try it on my own-as I’d probably poison my family.

    Our tomato plants gave us about 5 tomatoes, which I am sure is not enough to do anything with.

    Mary, Love the hints that you give and your beautiful pictures.

  3. Your grapes are beautiful, Mary!

  4. We still have some tomatoes, and lots of peppers and green beans. But the end is near. It’s been a good season, and I’m happy for that.

  5. What a GREAT tip for the tomatoes! I didn’t realize you could do that. Thanks!

  6. Serious garden envy right now. I had no idea you could do that with tomatoes…I wonder does it work if they’re already red? Even if I could get an extra week out of them it would be great…December is pushing it, I’m sure.

    • Once they are red you have to use them. We try to put yellowing and partially ripe tomatoes wrapped together on the top of the box, as these will be ripe first.
      Green tomatoes cannot have cracks or bruises. Damaged areas will mold.
      I go through our toms every two weeks and sort out the ripe and nearly ripe ones. Once again the green ones go together.
      This is a great season extender trick that I wish worked for other garden veggies.

  7. Thanks for this great tip. I have lots of green ones left on the plants and surely don’t want to throw them away. I will give this a try!

  8. Wow, that’s a really neat trick! I had no idea you can do that with tomatoes!

  9. Now the problem is having newspaper to wrap ’em in.
    One more downside to reading online I guess


  1. […] all of the green toms we picked in October, and wrapped in newspaper?  Normally I unwrap and re-wrap them several times […]