The Extreme Gardener

Experiments in permaculture and
other gardening adventures in northeastern Vermont

Tomatoes for winter storage

April 14th, 2008

It’s the second week of April. Mud season. I just dug through 2 feet of snow to dig up the last 15# of carrots in the garden – and we still have 3 fresh tomatoes left from last September’s harvest!

This variety is Golden Treasure, bred by Peters Seed and Research, a small seed company in Oregon that has doing some excellent breeding of open pollinated garden and farm plants, including perennial grain and some really nice kale varieties.

Tomato Golden Treasure, photo taken April 10

OK, OK, so these tomatoes are not in the same culinary league as those fragrant, tender skinned Marmandes sun ripened in early September; and they don’t burst sugar in your mouth like the thumb sized Red Currant tomatoes. None the less, to have fresh tomatoes from your garden in April is pretty cool, I think; and in storage they develop a nice acidic tomato flavor. They’re a bit on the tough side (that’s why they keep so well), so we usually slice them thin.

We’ve been growing Golden Treasure for more than 10 years now. One year we were still eating them in June.

A box of Golden Treasure on January 6

They get picked green or slightly yellow in September, before frost. It’s that simple. We handle them carefully, pick them into shallow boxes, and stack them in our “back room” which stays around 40 degrees F all winter. After a couple of months they start to ripen. We start eating them around the end of November, when all the other fresh tomatoes have either been eaten or sent to the compost pit. It is necessary to cull them regularly, but when they rot it usually begins as a small blemish on the surface and does not spread very fast, and is easily cut away.

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6 Responses to “Tomatoes for winter storage”

  1. Natalie says:

    Graet post mate. Keep them coming….

  2. Ottawa Gardener says:

    I’m excited about the possibilities with this variety. Thanks for posting.

  3. Tim Peters says:

    Hi,
    …is it possible to get a few seed from you?…
    I’m the fellow that bred the variety… I don’t have any seed right now, been looking for it.
    Glad it has help shorten your tomato-less season.
    Tim Peters

  4. Debbie says:

    Wow–Tim Peters?! I bought them thus year from Territorial, I think. It’s September and they’re yellow on the bottom, green on top. Will pick and store them before frost. I just had to taste one, ripe or not and was amazed at the zinger of a taste–tart but showed signs of potential sweetness. Hope they’re great come December!

  5. Tim Peters says:

    Debbie. Territorial sells the green shouldered original Golden Treasure. This one is the GT UR – the uniform ripening strain with only a faint green shoulder at most – looks nicer. …aso a little bigger fruited.
    Tim Peters

  6. Silvana says:

    Lovely garden. I live in the mlddie of deer country but still havenever had problem with the deer. What I have problems with is´╗┐ raccoons. Any hints you have at keeping the masked bandits out of the garden would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. You make wonderfully informative videos.

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