Are you like me, in a constant battle with birds eating holes in your tomatoes just as soon as they begin to turn the slightest bit red?
I have wanted to enjoy truly vine ripened tomatoes for years, but have never been able to enjoy that pleasure because if I didn't remove the slightly colored fruit as soon as it developed, I would get up the next morning to find the birds had found my tomato first.
This year, I made a serendipitous discovery. I had purchased some light weight fabric veggie bags at my local Whole Foods store at about the same time my tomatoes were beginning to ripen. One day I decided to see what would happen if I tied one of the drawstring bags around the ripening fruit. Low and behold...my tomato could ripen without the birds even noticing. It seems to work quite well on single tomatoes but unless the drawstring was pulled tight over multiple ripening tomatoes - something would always get at them, pulling the bag off and eating or pecking great holes in the fruit.
At the fabric store, I discovered that "Tulle" fabric was the closest thing to the fabric the veggie bags were made out of. I have made a number of additional drawstring bags out of just a half yard of fabric and have enjoyed vine ripened tomatoes all summer.
Update: Making bags became a drag. I discovered cheap, as in 33 cent a pair, knee-high stockings pulled over ripening tomatoes also served the same purpose and got the same results. The knee high stockings came in small round clear plastic balls which I found at my local Walgreens Pharmacy.