September 10, 2018

Harvest Monday, 9/10/18

The only bell pepper I'm growing this year is Carmagnola Rosso which have started ripening, four of them got picked yesterday. They have a great flavor, but they are super late.

If I was able to plant them outside earlier, I could probably get them to set fruit before the heat caused them to abort their blooms or sterilize the pollen. The last 2 years I've had to wait more than a month after the last frost to plant peppers because the ground was too wet to work.
Spicy pablano and jalapeno peppers. Most of the jalapenos have been getting cracks in their surface, likely from the stress of this year's hot dry summer.

I was planning to stuff the poblanos with cheese, coat them with panko, bake them and freeze the extra. The jalapenos will probably get stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon, baked and frozen as well. I've never made jalapeno poppers before, but that's how a couple of friends prepare them using bacon.

The fall garden is so close to being planted. There's just three beds left to plant with greens, and once the sweet potatoes get pulled, fava beans will go in their place to overwinter. I did end up starting tatsoi, mizuna, mibuna, lettuce, and chicory in tubs, so at least they got an earlier start than usual. But we're supposed to get back into the 90's (32 degrees Celsius) at the end of the week. Ugh.

I hope everyone is having a glorious fall with lots of sunshine and cooler weather. Please join us for Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Acres.

September 3, 2018

Harvest Monday, 9/3/18

I accidently picked a couple green Melrose peppers. They're thin walled frying peppers that are very tasty cooked.

The peppers really need to be watered so they can keep setting fruit, but I've been putting it off in favor of hand watering the newly planted beds. It's been a dry hot August, hopefully September will bring us some rain.
That's definitely a typo written in the picture, these are actually Boldog Hungarian peppers. They're another thin walled sweet pepper. Melrose was earlier to ripen, but they're both prolific.
Ajavarski sweet peppers are thick walled and juicy, and they're good sautéed with onions.
A mixture of Corno Rosso, Marconi, Corno di Toro, Feher Ozon, Shishito, and maybe an Odessa pepper. I keep picking the green Shishito peppers even though they tend to be too spicy to eat, maybe eventually the weather and their innate heat will start to come down.

The only bell pepper I'm growing are Carmagna Rosso and they're taking forever to ripen. We still have close to 2 months before our first heavy frost, so they still have time.

I got the rest of the garden dug by hand and then raked over on Sunday, and then spent the rest of the day in bed.We've all been sick this weekend. Since kids are back in school they're probably sharing all their illnesses. If I'm up to it, I'm going to spend a few hours this morning planting the rest of the beds.

All the fall greens, lettuces, and peas still need to be planted. I might plant some more turnips and radishes, in case earlier plantings end up too spicy from the heat.

Please join us for Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Acres.

August 30, 2018

The Late Summer Vegetable Garden

The sweet potatoes are rampaging through the kale bed behind them, but I've managed to keep them out of the other beds. Once the potatoes get lifted in October, this bed will get planted with chicories and spinach to overwinter.

The flowers of the Purple sweet potatoes are quite pretty and they are everywhere. I've never had Beauregard sweet potatoes bloom, so it was a bit of a surprise.
The kale, especially the Portuguese kale with it's large leaves in the back row, have been eaten up by cabbage caterpillars. I've treated the whole bed with Bt, an organic method of control, a couple of times and they're finally coming back from it.
This was the last zucchini plant in the garden. It had managed to hang on through the hot summer. I went ahead and pulled the plant yesterday because it's infected with Powdery Mildew and squash bugs. The Striato d'Italia zucchini pictured was roasted in the oven with an herb blend and a bit of salt, still sweet and flavorful.
The Siam Queen Asian basil is massive. It usually lasts well into the cold days of fall, we don't actually cook with it but add it to hot bowls of soup. To the right is some parsley and leaf celery, the parsley is a little singed from the heat.
The seven little plants of garlic chives are still alive and the biggest plant is actually blooming. I've seen family friends eat tons of this raw as a garnish to just about every savory dish they consumed. My dad is the same way with hot peppers, he'll alternate bites of hot pepper with normal food during evening meals.
The two pepper beds have merged as one, there's some blooming Italian basil in there as well. We've been getting some heavy rains that keep knocking down a few of the pepper plants, which I'm trying to prop up with bamboo stakes. I've been harvesting enough ripe sweet peppers to have with our lunches, they're prepared by slicing and sautéing with onions and a little salt.
The carrots have come up. Last year they were planted at the end of September which was much too late. Hopefully, this batch was planted early enough to do something. They were planted on the 18th, so it took them awhile to germinate.
The other half of the carrot bed is taken up by radishes. I hope September isn't too hot for them, otherwise they'll end up extra spicy. This bed was seeded on the 18th.
There's 6 different varieties of turnips that were planted in this bed two weeks ago. The two varieties in the front are actually from old seed and took a little longer to germinate.
Half this bed is planted in Gilfeather turnips, which is supposedly a turnip and rutabaga mix. The other half has kohlrabi and fennel.
Newly germinated fennel looks just like carrots, but their cotyledon leaves are a little longer.
I forget how slow growing beets really are, kind of like kohlrabi. The Tall Top Early Wonder beet in the back of the bed was planted June 21st and a few of the roots look ready to pull. Those are leeks in the bed to the right, they'll perk up when it cools down and starts raining regularly.

I've had some trouble with flea beetles this year, which seem to like beets as much as they like eggplants. The garden got treated with beneficial nematodes last week when we had cooler weather, which should help with the flea beetles. I had to wait to the end of summer because nematodes are supposed to be sensitive to heat when they're traveling in the mail system.
This cleared out corn bed will get seeded with all manner of Asian greens and mustards.
I totally cleared out this corn bed yesterday. Our town has a free service where they'll pick up and process non-grassy yard waste into mulch. I just put the corn stalks into the alley for them. The plan is to plant snow peas and snap peas, and then fava beans will go in after them to overwinter.

There's still lots of planting to do for the fall garden. I've got to get greens, peas, and lettuces in soon. Lettuces get pretty dirty from rain splashing soil on them, most people mulch around them or plant them close enough that doesn't happen. My instinct is always to overplant and overcrowd things. When it comes to greens and such, it does seem to help keep them cleaner.

August 28, 2018

Harvest Monday, 8/28/18

All three of these are different varieties of zucchini I picked a few days ago. I try to remember to pick zucchini while I'm out clearing the garden and seeding things that will be harvested in fall and early winter, but a few were definitely left a little too long.

Please join us for Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Happy Acres. A place where garden and vegetable enthusiasts congregate to share the goings on in their gardens.

August 20, 2018

Harvest Monday, 8/20/18

I picked a bunch of sweet peppers last week. We mainly grew sweet peppers this year with the only spicy peppers being jalapenos and poblanos, although Shishito and Padron peppers can get fiery hot as they ripen in our climate.
The dark red top-shaped peppers on top are Odessa and the orangey red top-shaped pepper on the bottom is Feher Ozon. I have to admit, the Odessa peppers are much sweeter than the Feher Ozon pepper which has a sour-ish end note. I've only eaten them raw, and perhaps Feher needs to ripen longer.
Of the long peppers, Melrose is a shorter wrinkly blunt-nosed pepper. There's quite a following in regards to this pepper which is a thin-walled frying pepper. I've tried the pepper raw and the flavor and texture was just, eh. But sautéing it with onions and it becomes something else entirely. Flavorful and incredibly sweet, my husband and I ate the Melrose peppers and onions on top of rice, and that was all it needed. So good. And a bonus for this variety is that the plants are productive.

I've been carefully saving seeds from our peppers, which have been disease free this season and tend to be in general. There have been very few pollinators around this year, but it's probably possible for peppers to accidently get pollinated by wind and such. Since I didn't do anything to isolate them, there's no guarantee they'll be true to type since I grew gobs of varieties.

Padron peppers tend to just be fiery hot in our climate, and Shishito peppers can be the same if left on the plant too long. The few tiny young Shishito peppers that have been edible after frying up with sea salt in a little olive oil, were quite wonderful.

We're still getting the occasional zucchini from our plants of both the Butta (F1) yellow zucchini and Striato d'Italia zucchini. Other than that, peppers, herbs, sweet potatoes, kale, and cutting celery are the only things left from the summer garden. I'll be sharing pictures on my gardening transitioning into fall in the next couple of days.

Please join us for Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Happy Acres, a place where the strong at heart and overzealous come to share the fruits from their gardening labors.