Monday, October 2, 2017

Harvest Monday - October 2, 2017

There are a lot of peppers ripening now. Round about this time last year I was already starting to clean out the pepper plants because many of them had been completely defoliated by powdery mildew. Most of the large peppers were of poor quality, either sunburned or stunted. I was also battling a critter for the good ones that were left. It was a dismal year for peppers in 2016. This year the patch is in much better shape and so far it looks like I'll get some good peppers and the harvests should keep going for a while yet. (Back in 2015 I was harvesting beautiful sweet peppers in November!)

Lady Bell
I grow a lot of sweet peppers and I especially like thick fleshed ones that are good for roasting. Lady Bell has been a reliable producer for me since I first tried it back in 2012. It's great roasted but also good in any other way that you might eat a sweet bell.

Turkish, Odessa Market, Gogosar, Ajvarski
The long skinny Turkish pepper isn't a roaster but it is good sliced up and added to salads. Odessa Market is a small pepper but has thick enough flesh to make it a good roasting pepper. Gogosar isn't a great roasting pepper only because of its shape, but it is delicious raw and is the perfect pepper for stuffing and baking. Ajvarski is a new one in the garden this year and I'm really pleased with it so far. Those are the first 2 ripe peppers and there's one of them shown below in my hand to get some perspective on the size.


Baby Aji Amarillo, Ethiopian Brown, Hungarian Magyar,
Baby Aji Amarillo (2016), Mareko Fana
My seasoning peppers are starting to ripen also. I have 3 Baby Aji Amarillo plants, 2 that I started this year and one that came back from last year. Last year the peppers were sweet with barely a hint of heat. The peppers from the new plants have some heat but the ones from the 2016 plant are sweet again. The Mareko Fana peppers are coming from a plant that came back from 2016 also. It's actually producing more peppers this year than last year. The other brown pepper is the first Ethiopian Brown to ripen. I'm not yet sure how similar it is to the Mareko Fana (also an Ethiopian pepper), I'll compare the two after I've dried them. Mareko Fana is my pepper of choice for making pepper flakes. Another new pepper this year is the Hungarian Magyar, it's a sweet paprika type so it's destined for the dehydrator also.

Chianti Rose, Mavritanskite, Pantano, Marzano Fire
This looks to be the last harvest of large tomatoes for a bit. There's still some left on the plants but most of them are green. The Marzano Fire tomatoes are ripening at a steady pace though. I'm surprised at how prolific that plant is since it's a rather spindly thing and I really didn't expect much from it. I had 5 pounds of them which was enough to make a batch of tomato paste.

Piccolo Dattero, Sweet Gold, Bumble Bees, Jaune Flamme
The cherry tomatoes keep coming in also. The harvests are a bit down at the moment but that's primarily because I'm taking a chance on allowing them to fully ripen on the plants so there's been a lag because I was harvesting anything that was nearly ripe and then I waited to allow the next round to fully ripen. So far so good, there's only been a bit of nibbling by critters...

Roasted Peppers Ready for Dehydrating
I've been experimenting a bit more with dehydrating roasted peppers. Back in 2015 I was facing quite a glut of peppers and was running out of space to store the roasted peppers that I was preserving either by freezing or preserving "Sott'Olio" (20 jars in the fridge then!), so I experimented for the first time with dehydrating the roasted peppers. Ooh la la, were they wonderful, sweet and chewy concentrated pepper goodness. I'm dehydrating more of them this year but I thought I would go with the jerky like quality that they have and try adding some seasonings. Oh wow, big yum. I think I'll save the details of my seasonings for a separate post.

"Pepper Jerky"
Tromba D'Albenga Squash
Another notable harvest for the week was a Tromba D'Albenga squash. The vines are growing like crazy again and there's more squash about ready to harvest so it looks like I'll get to enjoy them for at least a few more weeks.

Special Baby Leaf Chard
New in the harvest basket was some Special Baby Leaf Chard, um, not quite babies anymore but still very good. I used it in a Tunisian dish of Chickpeas and Chard in a tomato sauce. I used some Pico Pardal chickpeas that I grew in 2015 and even though they were 2 years old they cooked up in no time and had a perfect texture and very fine flavor. I think I'll have to devote some garden space to those again in 2018.

Batavia Broccoli
There's still no shortage of Batavia broccoli but that harvest of Broccolini shown below will be the last one until the new plants start to produce. That was the harvest from 4 plants so I deemed it time that they made way for something new, entirely new in my garden Petite Snap-Greens.

Harvest Monday is hosted by Dave on his blog Our Happy Acres, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.


  1. Omigosh!!! Pepper jerky! I never imagined such a thing. It must be among the best foods in the world. Gotta try it soon. Like now.

    1. Ok, I'll write up a post about my experiments as soon as I can.

  2. Those peppers are really beautiful. I wonder whether any of ours will make the red stage?

    1. Oh, that would be so disappointing to wait all season long and not get ripe peppers. Oh wait, that's what happened to me last year, and I was totally disappointed.

  3. The peppers are just so shiny and gorgeous. I'm intrigued by the Ajvarski and its substantial size. Please do post about how you make pepper jerky soon; it looks fantastic.

    1. I was really surprised by the size of the Ajvarski peppers, I didn't know they would be that big. I'll write up my post soon, but I have a couple more seasoning ideas to try first.

  4. I'll have to keep the pepper jerky in mind for my next pepper glut, and the roasted and dehydrated ones sound tasty too. It won't be this year though. It is amazing to me you're still getting broccoli along with the peppers and tomatoes.

  5. Life goal: harvesting beautiful sweet peppers in November

    I may have to move to a more southerly climate ...

  6. You are always coming up with something new! Wish I had a pepper glut this year but I just picked probably the 2nd to last harvest of still green peppers - before the slugs did too much damage. The good news is that like your tromboncino vines, mine also had a 2nd wind and there are several squash to pick over the next week or so.

  7. Wow, your Ajvarski got huge! Mine never made it past a hand length, but this is inspirational. Clearly my issues with the pepper stemmed not from the variety, but from the garden conditions. Curious!

    And pepper jerky... damned clever. Exactly up my alley. I'll definitely be throwing more pennies in the dehydrator fund now.


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