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Old May 21, 2012   #1
The Future
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Default Reducing Post Harvest Spoilage

I am losing a significant amount of tomatoes due to spoilage in storage. They tend to be cherry sized although there are a few larger and come from cracked skin, splits of some other deficiency not noted until mold or decay occurs.

I have several containers with holes in the bottom - crisper type - that at least ensure any liquid runs off and limits the damage to the dozens of other tomatoes in the container. I live in a humid location and warm. Any tips from folks on how they store fresh tomatoes to minimize this issue?

Right now I make making compost from tomatoes at too high a rate.
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Old May 21, 2012   #2
Rockporter
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The only way I know how to save tomato in the heat is to dry them and make sauce. I live in hot humid coastal bend and there is no way to save tomatoes for long here. There is a Food Dehydrator I am looking into, it's kind of pricey but when I dried some basil and it was ruined in cheap one I decided I wanted to get a much better one.

Excalibur is the name brand and there are quite a few different designs and price ranges for them. I am interested in the one from Gurneys and when they have their sales I am probably going to take the plunge. What I like about the Excalibur is it can be used for several chores and not just drying fruits, vegetables and herbs. They(the maker) says you can remove the trays and use it to rise bread dough at the perfect temperature and you can dry sweaters and things. It's an interesting piece of equipment and will dry 15 square feet of product at once with the fan forced air coming from the back of the unit, not the bottom. The temps are adjustable as well.

Here is the link
http://gurneys.com/excalibur-food-dehydrator/p/4152/
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Old May 22, 2012   #3
dice
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I freeze the excess in gallon bags. They are only really fit for soup, sauce,
or juice when they thaw, but they do not end up as compost.
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Old May 22, 2012   #4
TigersAU777
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Give some to your neighbors, family, and friends...or better yet, ME!
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Old May 22, 2012   #5
Tracydr
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I dry the cherries in my Excaliber. Try marinating them in red wine or red wine vinegar, first.
I freeze everything else, then thaw and can when I have enough. When frozen and thawed, the skin slips and the seeds come out without really needing to strain them. Plus, they lose a lot of water so it cuts down on cooking time.
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Old May 22, 2012   #6
Mojo
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1) Eat
2) Sauce
3) Eat
4) Curry favor with neighbors, friends and co-workers
5) Eat

I throw the extras into a roasting pan with spices and garlic and a bit of oil and do them down into paste, then freeze.
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Old May 22, 2012   #7
The Future
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Ok..thanks all for the info....but for fresh tomatoes....no ideas to at least prolong the window of usefulness? Minimize contamination of those with some shelf life to them?
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Old May 22, 2012   #8
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Tomatoes ripen from the bottom up, or so I've believed. Having them upside down might slow things down a bit, but that may be an old tale. YMMV.

Certainly, though, ripening tomatoes give off gases that will speed the ripening of nearby tomatoes. Having them spaced apart from each other will minimize that. Your countertop space may be a factor here.
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Old May 22, 2012   #9
RebelRidin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracydr View Post
I dry the cherries in my Excaliber. Try marinating them in red wine or red wine vinegar, first.
I freeze everything else, then thaw and can when I have enough. When frozen and thawed, the skin slips and the seeds come out without really needing to strain them. Plus, they lose a lot of water so it cuts down on cooking time.
Tracy... Please forgive the barage of questions but with all the cherries I have planted I am wanting to dry some.

Do you split or halve the cherries you dry?

What does the marinating achieve (flavoring? killing nasties?) and how long do you marinate them?

What are your thoughts/opinions on the Excaliber units? Nine shelf? Timer or manual?

How long does it usually take to dry a full batch?

Thanks in advance...

George

Last edited by RebelRidin; May 24, 2012 at 07:11 AM. Reason: clarify a ?
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