Monday, October 15, 2018

Harvest Monday - October 15, 2018

There's not a lot of diversity in my harvests at the moment but I'm not really complaining because the harvests have primarily been LOTS of peppers. I've spent the last week preserving most of them. There's now a few pints of Preserved Sweet Peppers in the fridge and there's a few quarts of peppers fermenting and I've continued my experiments with sun drying peppers.

Florina
Florina and Ajvarski are a couple of my favorite peppers for roasting, they are large and thick fleshed and both are quite sweet. They make great preserved peppers.

Ajvarski
Turkish Pimento
Rosso Dolce da Appendere is also a good roasting pepper and suitable for preserving like Ajvarski and Florina. I made one batch of pepper paste with Criolla de Cocina and have a couple of batches in process made with Turkish Pimentos. I'm going to dry some of the fermented Turkish Pimentos and grind those into paprika.

Criolla de Cocina
Rosso Dolce da Appendere

Urfa Biber
I sun-dried all of the Aleppo peppers and Urfa Biber peppers are in progress. The sun-dried peppers do come out a bit different than peppers dried in a dehydrator. They don't become as brittle and they seem to be more aromatic.

Aleppo
I cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and cores to both speed the drying process and to reduce the spiciness. It took about 4 days to get the peppers almost all completely dry, there were just a few peppers at the end of day 4 that had some moist spots so I finished those in the dehydrator.

Aleppo Peppers Drying in the Sun
I also tried drying the long sweet Turkish peppers in the sun but I had a problem with them curling up which inhibited the drying process so after 4 days when many of the still had soft moist spots I finished them off in the dehydrator.

Turkish Sweet Peppers Drying in the Sun
All of the sweet peppers are also great eaten fresh or cooked. We have been enjoying a lot of freshly cut up pepper sticks and I've been putting them in salads and we've enjoyed a few batches of cast iron skillet roasted peppers.

I didn't get around to photographing the smaller peppers like the Aji's and JalapeƱos. I fermented a batch of Aji Angelo peppers and then dried them and those will be turned into flakes. And there's still more that I haven't gotten around to doing anything with yet. So many peppers and so little time!


The basil is still quite happy and I have to give it a good trim now and then to keep it from getting too overgrown. I cut it down quite hard and usually end up with more basil than I know what to do with. I used to make pesto and freeze it but found that I didn't really like the frozen product and didn't end up using it. Last week I came across a new and unusual way to preserve basil and could not resist giving it a try because it uses one of my favorite preserving techniques - fermentation. Check out this article about Whole Leaf Fermented Basil. I've got a batch on the counter now but it's not ready yet so I reserve judgement of the end result.

It looks like it's going to be a good season for fennel bulbs this fall. The spring sown plants are giving me bulbs and more plants that I started this summer are also producing bulbs.

Orion Fennel
I'm still amazed at the size bulbs that can come from the root of a plant that I cut to the ground already. This one got away from me a bit and started to split at the base of the plant but all it needed was a bit of trimming. The root that this bulb came from is already producing a new shoot so it will be interesting to see how many harvests I can get from it.



That's the latest from my garden, head on over to Our Happy Acres where Dave is hosting Harvest Monday and check out what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.


Monday, October 8, 2018

Harvest Monday - October 8, 2018

There wasn't really anything different from the garden this past week.

I picked peppers again but less of them because we spent the weekend away and I didn't get a chance to really get into Fort Pepper before we went.

Turkish Sweet

One of my favorite things to do with the Topepo and Gogosar peppers is to bake them with a stuffing. This time I stuffed them with a mixture of bulk pork sausage and rice with onion, celery, celeriac and herbs which came out delicious and as usual I didn't get around to photographing the finished product.

Topepo Giallo
Gogosar

Another handful of Castandel beans.


More stalks of Pink Plume celery. This time I did a hand shot to give a better perspective of  the good sized stalks that the plants are producing this year.


The old battered broccoli plants gave me a few shoots and I thinned the parsnips and carrots.


I made a farro salad last week that used some veggies from the garden but what got me excited about the salad was that I used one of my new preserved veggies for the first time and they were such a success that it makes me wish I had made more. Corn chicos are dried kernels of roasted sweet corn and they are so good it makes me wish I could grow corn again. And they are so good that they deserve their own post so stay tuned.

That was it for the week. 

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.



Monday, October 1, 2018

Harvest Monday - October 1, 2018

I hate to jinx myself by saying that my increased protection around Fort Pepper is actually working. (Knock wood). I'm not really superstitious, but every time I publish a post that claims that such and such efforts against marauding rodents is effective they decide to prove me wrong. Anyway, the rodents have left the pepper buffet alone for a while and to my relief and delight I was able to bring in a beautiful assortment of ripe peppers.

Long Sweet Turkish

Turkish Pimento

Florina

Topepo Giallo

Gogosar

Odessa Market

Urfa Biber

Ajvarski

Criolla de Cocina

Aji Angelo
Rosso Dolce da Appendere

Here's what I resorted to doing to make it more difficult for the rodents to get in.


I covered the entire enclosure with lightweight Agribon fabric. The major downside to covering the entire bed is that it makes it a cozier spot for pests and diseases. I cut down one pepper plant, a baccatum variety called Queen Laurie, because it was a disgusting mess of aphids and ants. But even if Queen Laurie wasn't a mess of aphids I would have dethroned her because she seems to be daylight sensitive and had just barely started to form flower buds and there isn't any chance of getting ripe peppers in the months to come if she hasn't even bloomed by now. And I also found a number of plants to be infected powdery mildew. 


There were a couple of other firsts in the harvest basket.

Prinz Celeriac
The largest root on the right trimmed down to about a pound. These were the first a dozen plants in the garden.


Castandel Beans
And then a couple of continuing harvests.

Orion Fennel
Pink Plume Celery
The Pink Plume celery plants are producing some nice stalks this year. And the Orion fennel bulbs are nicer than I expected considering they are second shoots from the spring planting. Six of the eight plants that I started in the spring are producing a second round of shoots and most of the plants are giving me 2 or 3 new shoots. So far I've only been thinning down to one bulb per plant so I hope the remaining bulbs fatten up even more.

Pink Plume Celery

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.