Green with (tomato) envy

Having grown up in Southwestern ON, near Leamington, the “Tomato Capital of Canada”, I always took tomatoes for granted. They were so plentiful that I started to despise them by the end of the growing season.

I would can and freeze a tonne, make salsa, tomato sauce and juice, give oodles away to friends and local food banks and pretty much everyone in sight. Then, wracked with much guilt, I would start pulling plants that were still producing tomatoes, because I was literally tomatoed out.

Not the case here in River Hebert, NS, where the growing season is a good month shorter, with less sun and heat. Here, I cherish and coddle every single tomato, and pray daily to the tomato gods that they might start to turn red before the frost!

And…I learned to love green tomato chow.

Chow Chow

8 quarts green tomatoes

6 large onions

1/2 cup pickling salt

3 tsp dry mustard

½ tsp turmeric

4 cups sugar

1 quart vinegar

1/2 quart water

2 tbsp pickling spices in a cheese cloth bag

Cut the tomatoes fine, add the salt and let stand overnight. Next day drain and rinse thoroughly, then layer with onion, spices and sugar in a large pan. Add vinegar and water. Cook on medium heat until the vegetables are soft. Remove spice bag. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal. 

Recipe courtesy of canning guru Marion Daborn, River Hebert, NS.

For more green tomato recipes see:

Blog by Su Morin, Ecology Action Centre, Community Food Coordinator – Cumberland.


Leamington, ON, “Tomato Capital of Canada”

River Hebert Renovations Now in Provincial Hands