So, let's take a look at the messy vegetable garden.
Most of my potted pepper plants are doing just fine, although you can see one here (I forget what variety) that dropped most of its leaves but still has a bunch of ripe peppers. Next to it the 2 Esplette plants are loaded with ripe and ripening peppers. And the other plants are green and lush but don't have any ripe peppers yet.
This plant shown below is an Aji (baccatum) that was growing in the pepper bed last year. I dug it up this spring and put it into a pot and it sulked all spring and summer - look at it now! Unfortunately, I'm not sure if it will produce any ripe peppers, they are all still small and green.
Most of the pepper plants in the beds are looking pretty bad, but the Morocco and Topepo Rosso plants are ok and have some ripe peppers, although a number of them are starting to shrivel.
This is a new variety of baccatum pepper that I'm trying this year, Kaleidoscope. I'm pleased to see that it is producing ripe peppers before the weather gets frosty, in spite of looking rather unhealthy.. A number of baccatum peppers are very late to ripen and I've grown a few that produced pods that never had a chance to ripen.
One of my favorite peppers, Aji Pineapple, has been looking bad for a long time, but it has managed to produce just enough peppers for a batch of Spicy Meyer Lemon Marmalade.
And another new baccatum pepper, Guyana has turned out to be a winner. This plant is looking sad now but it is loaded with a bunch of ripe peppers. I picked a like number of ripe peppers off this plant just about 4 weeks ago and put them into the freezer whole. I plan on trying another batch of marmalade with this variety.
Another winner that I grew last year and had to have in the garden again this year is Christmas bell, a mild baccatum pepper that is delicious pickled as well as raw, roasted, or sauteed.
I planted three Christmas Bell plants this year just to make sure I have enough. Last year they started to ripen much earlier, they were actually one of the first.
The sad sad Manzano chiles, they didn't like the heat.
The Frederick passionfruits are finally ripening.
Another round of Andine Cornue paste tomatoes on some very tired looking plants.
Cherry tomatoes keep on going.... I also found some sound Lenny and Gracie, Chocolate Stripes, and Ananas Noir tomatoes on the plants yesterday.
Across the way the Sweetie Baby Romaine lettuce is shooting up. They aren't tasty to me at this point but the chickens don't care, they still love to munch them.
There's Portuguese Dairyman's kale volunteering where last years plants dropped seeds this spring. I harvested a bunch for dinner last night and it was delicious braised with some olive oil and garlic and mounded on toasted rustic bread and topped with a fried egg. Way up in the top right corner of the photo the dead chamomile plants can be seen, I picked blossoms from those plants for most of the summer. That little tiny patch produced enough to keep me in tea for most of the winter.
This was a wonderful surprise, a perfect looking Diamond Eggplant. I stripped the plants of any fruits that were larger than an inch long just before I left three+ weeks ago and the little babies that were left then are a perfect size now.
I also stripped the Malaysian Dark Red plants and now there's a bunch of them again, some even got a bit too big after only three weeks.
Here's where the garden starts looking really sorry. The bean plants are mostly done, the Garafal Oro romano plants on the right are producing a few little beans that should be pretty good, but the Petaluma Gold Rush and Turkey Craw plants have dropped their leaves and are covered with dried and drying bean pods.
|Petaluma Gold Rush beans|
|Turkey Craw beans|
The cucumbers, zucchini, melons, and winter squash have succumbed to powdery mildew.
I think the Marina di Chioggia squash matured enough before the vines pooped out. I'll leave them on the vines until the stems turn brown.
This squash doesn't have the typical turban shape for this variety, it's round with a tiny little turban imbedded in the bottom. I hope the flavor is as good....
I need to start harvesting celery root, it's getting to be quite large. Last year my celery root took nearly a year to size up, the plants have been much happier this year. Was it the cool summer?
Bummer, the Couve Tronchuda (Portuguese cabbage) is bolting before I even got to harvest any. I'm going to try starting some more right away, I really want some Caldo Verde this winter.
The chard is monstrous and full of black aphids, I'm going to have to cut it done to the nubs and hope it comes back ok.
The sole surviving Summer Snowflake marigold is in full bloom. Earwigs love marigold seedlings, I had to put this plant under a water bottle cloche to protect it from getting munched.
Now that summer weather has finally arrived (it got up to almost 100F while I was gone and is in the 80'sF now) the amaranth is growing like a weed. I think it's a bit over grown now and may not be very tender, but I'll try some of it anyway.
A lovely garden spider hanging out in the Hollow Pipe of Malines cutting celery, which happens to be bolting, dang it.
Romanesco broccoli plants, please please please don't bolt now....
Testa di Ferro savoy cabbage, already producing heads, I thought they still had a couple of months to go.
Cavolo Nero, looking fabulous, It's time to start harvesting.
Broccoli in full bloom, it needs a bit of a trim.
I was wondering why the does were dashing around the hillside today, tis the season for making fawns.
Look, here's a plant that the deer don't denude of flowers! It drives me crazy when I plant something that the deer don't eat, except for the flowers.
Well, I really should get back out to the garden to start the fall clean up, but one souvenir that I brought home is a nasty head cold. Thank goodness it came on after I got home, but I really don't have the energy to deal with that mess in the garden. I think it's time to see what's accumulated on the DVR....