Monday, October 22, 2018

Harvest Monday - 22 October 2018

Our first killing frost arrived this past week, as anticipated. The days leading up to it were thus a flurry of activity for picking and processing.

The Mad Hatter peppers (that our Harvest Monday host, Dave, featured awhile ago) would not ripen any further, so here's my entire crop. I'd say it's a productive plant, but for me it took forever for even one to turn red-ripe. I will try again next year though.

Mad Hatter sweet pepper
The rest of the sweet peppers were hauled in and processed for the freezer, except for the shishitos which we will eat now.

The hot peppers came in as well.

The Kitchen Goddess turned all of the above into a spicy green chile base, using a recipe from the great book Fiery Ferments.

All of the remaining zucchini, eggplants, and beans came in and were frozen.

I've struggled to grow Swiss chard (usually an absurdly easy crop) in recent years. Not sure why. But I did pick some before the frost.

Peppermint and Fordhook Giant Swiss chard
I planted Summercrisp lettuce and then largely ignored it. I was surprised what the harvest added up to. And for us it's novel to have fresh salads in mid-October.

Mottistone and Nevada lettuce
Another crop I planted (in spring) and largely ignored was Red Malabar 'spinach', which of course is not a true spinach at all. It took awhile to get going, and produced lovely long vines. The only drawback is bugs seem to have a fondness for it. Despite that, the harvest was pretty large.

Red Malabar
I lightly blanched it, and here's the result. Some reviews I saw say it's too slimy for them, but that did not put me off at all. It tastes and smells just like real spinach, without the bite of some other spinach substitutes like Swiss chard or beet greens. I had some in a ramen and it was very delicious. If you, like me, struggle to grow real spinach I highly recommend this variety.

Blanched Red Malabar
Our green apple tree (maybe Granny Smith?) is a late-season variety. We picked two bushels, and there is at least that much left on the tree which will probably stay there. The reason? We already have so much canned applesauce, apple pie filling, and hard apple cider in storage. 

TKG rewarded our hard work with delicious caramel apples. I wish you could taste how good these are.

So, a busy week, but it's the last of the season. The only things left to harvest are carrots and leeks. I hope your harvests extend further than this. I look forward to reading about them!


  1. The biggest problem with baccatum peppers is that they do tend to ripen late. I have one variety that doesn't ripen until December or January - definitely not one for you to try! It's hard to believe your gardening season is over already. Where did the year go?

    1. That's too bad about the baccatums, as there are so many interesting varieties. Yes, it's a sad thing about gardening here.

  2. I got less than a dozen ripe Mad Hatter pepper from my plant. The plant was loaded with green ones though, so I am thinking maybe I would give it an early start next year. The carmamel apples look yummy! My wife loves them, but she doesn't often make them herself.

    1. I could start them earlier too, but it takes so long for it to warm up here in spring they would get pot bound.

  3. Glad your hard frost held off until now. Apples look great--especially the caramel ones!

  4. I was supposed to grow some Malabar spinach this year, but didn't end up happening - I've seen mainly good reviews about it, so hopefully it will end up in the garden next year. Funny how sometimes we just have issues with previously "easy" crops. I had a great potato year a couple of years ago, but it's been downhill ever since.