Monday, December 4, 2017

Harvest Monday - December 4, 2017

It was an interesting week of harvests. It's hard to believe that it's December when I'm out picking peppers and tomatoes. Although the forecast for Sunday night and the next few nights is for temperatures down in the low 30ºF's so after I harvested a bunch of peppers late Sunday I covered the plants with some frost cloth because there's still quite a few Aji peppers left on the plants and I don't want them to get frost damaged.

Joe's Giant Aji and Aji Amarillo Grande
Those are a couple of the very first Joe's Giant Aji peppers alongside a couple of Aji Amarillo Grande peppers. The colors are nearly identical but Joe's Giant is more smooth, fatter, and has a blunt end. I haven't had a chance to do a comparison tasting yet.

Joe's Giant Aji, Habanada, and Aji Angelo
I found one more ripe Aji Angelo and the Habanada plants had a good amount of ripe peppers ready for harvesting.

Caribbean Seasoning and Aji Amarillo Grande
Most of the peppers on the Caribbean Seasoning plants were ripe enough to harvest and there were more Aji Amarillo Grande peppers ready to harvest also.

Aji Golden, Hungarian Magyar, and Craig's Grande Jalapeno
There were a few stragglers on the Hungarian Magyar and Aji Golden plants and quite a few ripe Craig's Grande Jalapeños too.

Mareko Fana
I harvested all of the remaining Markeo Fana peppers, ripe or not, because I needed to take out the plant to make room for some winter veggies. The plant was a holdover from 2016 and had been hanging around for a year and a half.

Gogosar and Violet Sparkle Peppers
Jaune Flamme and Mavritanskite Tomatoes
There were a few sweet peppers and tomatoes to be found also, especially cherry tomatoes.

Assorted Cherry Tomatoes

Short Stuff Carrots
That photo of Short Stuff carrots above is deceiving, they may be short but they aren't small.

Short Stuff Carrot

Broccolini, Batavia Broccoli, and Pea Shoots
Broccolini and Batavia broccoli have been very dependable producers this year. I put in some overwintering peas this fall but I'm not counting on winter harvests of peas. Rather than just allowing them to grow and sprawl around I've been cutting them back and harvesting the tender shoots. Cutting them back forces them to branch out so I'm hoping that in the early spring that they will end up being somewhat bushy and produce more flowers and pods. I'm hoping but I haven't tried this before so I don't know what will happen. At the very least though I get to enjoy the shoots and there's something growing which is far better than having bare soil.

Tromba D'Albenga Squash and Speedy Arugula
The end may be nigh for the Tromba D'Albenga vines if the temperature drops below freezing.  But before they are gone I'm trying something new. I keep trimming the vines back and they keep putting out new shoots and I've read that the tender tips of the shoots are edible so I cut a bunch of them late on Sunday. I haven't had a chance to cook them up yet but I did nibble on some of the raw tiny baby squash and found that they were quite tasty. So more on that experiment next week.

Tromba D'Albenga Vine Shoots

Special Baby Leaf Chard
A few months ago I sowed a patch of chard that is supposed to be harvested as babies. Well, after a couple of harvests I let the remaining plants be and one of them got to be a bit too big for its space so it came out this week. I used it in a dish that featured roasted cubes of Terremoto squash and slow cooked Petaluma Gold Rush beans. That dish also featured one of my latest preserving experiments - fermented sweet pepper paste. The dish turned out to be far tastier than expected due in large part to the flavorful pepper paste. I have more information about the pepper paste on my previous post about Fermented Peppers.

Cilician Parsley
I cut two big bunches of Cilician parsley last week because they needed to be cleared out to make space for some winter vegetables. I think that there's some sort of Tabbouleh on the menu this week. This variety of parsley has been very long lived. I scattered the seeds for these plants last winter and the plants have just kept growing all year long with only a very few of them that bolted.

Pink Plume Celery
That's another deceptive photo, the stalks aren't at all as large as they look.

Radish Thinnings
I had to thin the winter radishes and only one of them had a root that amounted to anything but the greens were beautiful. So those became the subject of another experiment. I cleaned them and salted them for a few hours and then stuffed them into a quart jar and added water to make a brine. After fermenting for a few days I drained them and dehydrated them. A few days of fermentation mellowed them out. My plan is to use the chopped dried greens to add flavor to soups and stir fry dishes.

Fermented Radish Tops Ready for Dehydrating

K'uyu Chuspi Flour Corn
That is my entire harvest of K'uyu Chuspi corn shown above. This variety was a gamble to begin with and the gamble didn't really pay off. The first problem was that the corn tasseled well before most of the ears developed and produced silks. The second problem was that the rodents found the ears that did manage to form - all but that one. It's pretty so I'm keeping the ear as an ornament.

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. The corn is fascinating and Inwosj we were cutting broccoli although I was amazed to find some ripe tomatoes and red peppers in the plot greenhouse yesterday! A first at this time of year for us.

  2. So many peppers! You are the "pepper queen".

  3. You have an impressive variety of veggies, especially for a December harvest! The Short Stuff carrots are a fooler, I would have thought they were babies. I didn't grow carrots this year but those might be worth trying here. The no-heat habaneros like Habanada seem to be 'in' right now. I just saw a 2018 AAS winner called Roulette that is a hybrid heatless version.

  4. Your peppers and tomatoes look delicious and the fat carrots made me smile. That's too bad about the rodents and your corn, it sounds like your had a very bad year when it came to critters.

  5. Wow - that is one FAT carrot!

    Tromba vine shoots - that will certainly be interesting. I can't recall how the vines/leaves are at the moment - aren't they "hairy"?

    And you're right - that is one gorgeous cob of corn. It's unfortunate that more cobs didn't make it to the finish line.

  6. Wow what a beautiful K'uyu Chuspi ear! My word, mine looked more like purple speckled snaggletoothed gremlins, haha. Yours on the other hand is just gorgeous, catalogue perfect. Well grown! May only be one, but hey, cherish the small victories right?


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