Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday October 30

With frost predicted later this week, it was time to harvest the remaining peppers.  I got another nice batch of ancho peppers, along with some Carmen and Giallo sweet peppers.  All of these were put on the grill.  The anchos went into a final batch of harissa, while the sweet peppers went into a Buttercup squash soup.   A lot of green anchos were left on the vine.

There were hot peppers too, jalapenos and Fish.  I set aside the green jalapenos for later use, and put the red ripe peppers into the harissa.

It was a very good year for peppers, probably my best ever, with nearly 18 pounds of peppers harvested.  Overall it was a very good year.   No vegetable was profligate, such as the pickling cucumbers 2 years ago that gave me more cucumbers than I could possibly use, and most importantly, there were few busts.  The Diva slicing cucumbers, which all died, and lettuce, at 2.9 pounds were the biggest shortfalls.  The poor lettuce harvest appeared to be caused by the potting mix, since I grow most of my lettuce in Earthboxes.  

The tomatoes, at over 100 pounds, and the beans, at 35 pounds, were the stars this year.  I got 22 pounds of pickling cucumber, 40 pounds of winter squash, 14 pounds of sweet corn, 6 pounds of eggplant, and 3.6 pounds of spinach.  Below average harvests were 4.4 pounds of okra and 8 pounds of summer squash (I'm not a huge fan of summer squash anyway).  Onion harvest at 10 pounds was about half the normal amount.  That was more due to a new variety being tried which did not transplant well, than any environmental conditions.

Cole crops:  10.5 pounds of cabbage, 8.6 pounds of kohlrabi, and 4.3 pounds of broccoli, and 1.4 pounds of cauliflower.  Probably a little below average.  At this point I've picked 305 pounds of produce, and will probably get about 10 pounds of parsnips later this year.  Not bad, but I'd like to get the harvest up to 400 pounds from this plot.  Maybe next year.   I planted the garlic and spinach yesterday for overwintering, so I'm already thinking of that.

To see what other people are getting from their plots, head on over to Our Happy Acres and check it out.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday, October 23

There are still harvests to be had from the beds.  There are enough ancho and other peppers to make another batch of harissa. I meant to pick them yesterday before today's rains set in but couldn't get to it.  The forecast calls for the first fall freeze on Saturday morning, and I'll get them in sometime this week.   There's also a 4' x 4' patch of parsnip, and I'll start digging them up after a few hard freezes. 

I was pulling up the bush beans to clean up the bed for planting spinach and garlic, another 'to-do' project that needs to be done.  There was a row of carrots that I had been ignoring, assuming that they would not amount to anything since they were seeded in the summer and never looked very healthy.  Well, they actually were pretty nice carrots, over a pound at that.  I don't remember what variety these are.

The winter squash have been curing on the screen, and it was time to get them in before today's rains.  There's 16.6 pounds of Metro Butternut and 23.6 pounds of Buttercup squash.  It was a poor year for squash, and compared to last year's yield of 140 pounds, it's not much.   The plants kept dying a few weeks after germinating, and I kept seeding new plants until some survived.  The late plantings probably helped the Buttercups escape the borer, which is especially susceptible. 

To see what other gardeners are getting, head on over to Our Happy Acres.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Not done yet

I've been waiting and waiting to harvest some ancho peppers for another batch of harissa, what with the late rains and work on the front porch.  Around here, anchos are a hit and miss proposition, and if the summer is cool, most of them will still be ripening on the plants when the first frost arrives.  The first half of September was unseasonably cool, and that didn't help, but after that things warmed up quite a bit and the anchos have been ripening slowly.  They were so close to ready when the rain and cloudy weather rolled in about a week ago. This morning I went out to the garden and picked what was ready.  There were actually more than I thought, definitely enough to make and freeze a good sized batch.
Almost 3 pounds of peppers here.  The beautiful chocolate colored peppers in the top 2 rows are Bastan anchos.  The reddish wrinkled pepper on the left and its neighbor are Mosquitero anchos.  This year they are turning red but not brown.  There's also 2 Carmen peppers, a Mama Mia Giallo (the yellow pepper) and some Magyar paprika peppers.  They are roasting on the grill as I write this.

For the heat, some Fish peppers and red ripe Jalapenos.  I tried to pick only the very ripe or over ripe Fish peppers, hoping that the nearly ripe peppers left on the plants will be ready in a week or so.  The red Jalapenos are actually very hot, probably as hot as the Fish peppers.  Some of the Fish may be past their prime, but I like them that way.

Most everything in the garden - tomatoes, eggplant, squash, pole beans, okra - is long since gone but the peppers soldier on.  It seems they never get the fungal diseases that have taken the other plants.  I snapped this picture after picking this harvest, and there are still lots and lots of peppers on the plants, many of which are nearly ready.

As for the front porch, it's framed up and ready for the floor.  The sidewalk is finished, that was the worst of it, and the new siding has been installed.  The floor boards have been drying on saw horses for nearly 2 weeks, but they got soaked over the weekend.  Later this week I expect to have a functioning porch.  Before putting on the railings I hope to paint the deck if the wood has sufficiently dried.   Next spring I'll be replacing the Astilbe that grew on either side of the walk. 

To see what other growers are getting from their gardens, head on over to Our Happy Acres.