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 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.

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.

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 Jalapeños. 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.


  1. I'm envious of your fennel!

    Any wind up your way? Do you get Santa Anas?

    1. No wind here, we get an offshore flow on occasion but nothing like Santa Anas. It's been quite nice here lately, warm and sunny during the day and cool at night and not much fog. Perfect autumn weather.

  2. That an incredible pepper harvest. I’m thinking of trying to see whether I can grow some herbs indoors under lights for winter use, Maybe just coriander to start. Parsley and sage tend to survive winter outdoors.

    1. It would be interesting to see how coriander does indoors. It thrives here in the winter, not bolting so it gets to be huge and it withstands the few freezing nights that we get.

  3. Looks like your Aleppo and Urfa plants were productive for you. I'd love to try sun drying peppers here but I doubt it would work with our high humidity.

    I did make some of the fermented sweet pepper paste and it turned out quite well. My fermented peppers salsa did well too, and now I have a couple more ideas on how to preserve peppers! And I just fermented a big jar of Aji Angelos to make some mild Sriracha. I got enough for me and a couple of bottles to give to friends.

    The fermented basil sounds like something I need to try. My basil is mostly done for this year, getting hit by PM at some point. I actually have the Fermented Vegetables book but I guess I missed the basil recipe.

    1. Both Aleppo and Urfa have been quite productive and I think they are going to be really tasty too. They aren't too spicy if I remove the cores and ribs so they should make some good pepper flakes. I want to know how your Aji Angelo Sriracha comes out, I've used ripe Jalapeños and love it. Actually, I made a batch with green Jalapeños and it came out great too.

  4. Beautiful peppers, and nice that you use passive solar energy to dry them.

    1. Ah, I do feel kinda good about using the sun instead of the grid. If our current run of warm and sunny weather keeps up I may get a few more batches of peppers done.

  5. So many peppers! How's the rodent problem?

    1. The rodents are just as bad as ever. One of them ate all the berries off of one of my caper bushes and I found another one that had drowned in my watering can (yuck!). I've trapped so many of them that I lost count long ago.

  6. That fennel is gorgeous! And of course all those peppers - yum! I'm so glad that I got around to getting a dehydrator last useful for so many crops, including peppers.

  7. Look at all those perfectly ripe peppers, so amazing. And I'm in love with that giant fennel. Normally I don't grow many sweet peppers, but it's been wonderful cooking with them this year.

  8. Lovely harvest! both of the peppers and fennel are really interesting me.


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