ripening avocados

how do i ripen these things? I think they're the fuerte variety (green smooth skin) and they look ready to pick but they just don't ripen. I read online its best to ripen in a paper bag with an apple or banana and thats what I did... they've been in there for almost 3 weeks now, one seemed softer than the others so i cut it and the meat was like rubber.
I don't want to leave them on the tree any longer because some damn squirrels are stealing them. I've actually seen the critters roll them on the ground into my neighbors yard.
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danny wrote:

Here is a UC Davis piece on when to pick avocados. Essentially, it says to pick one when you think they're mature and let it finish softening at room temperature. If it does so satisfactorily in a few days, they're ready but if it doesn't, they're not. So, I'd say yours aren't ready to pick yet.
It also says that when the avocados are mature, the best place to "store" them is on the tree, where they will be fine for quite a long time. This leaves you with the squirrel problem, I guess, but maybe they won't decimate your eventual harvest. -aem
http://ceventura.ucdavis.edu/ben/avo_handbook/harvesting/pick.htm
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Bird netting...
And a good BB gun.
Academy sports has some awesome BB guns, and squirrel is VERY tasty quartered and fried in olive oil and butter with just a little lemon pepper.
Wet them before you skin them to keep hair from shedding on the meat......
--
Om.

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You're probably in the northern hemisphere, so your weather would now be cool and getting colder. Did you store the paper bag + avo + banana in a warm place? If so, then I'd say you have done about all you can. I think it needs to be a *ripening* banana, not a grass green one that stays green. If the avocado hasn't ripened in three weeks in the paper bag then it probably isn't going to.
As you have a treeful of the fruit, you are able to experiment. I have heard that you can microwave a firm avo to soften it. I don't know the duration, so perhaps you can experiment. Be conservative. The flavour might not be up to that of naturally ripened fruit, even if it does soften. I'd try for paper bag ripening for a week or so and then finish off with a short nuke. Your rubbery fleshed avo might have responded well to a short spell in the microwave since it was close to ripening.
Something nibbles at the avos on trees here, in Oz. We don't have squirrels, and I've always assumed it to be rats as they climb nearly anything and the bite marks are small nibbles. But it might be our native possums.
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