Monday, November 2, 2020

Harvest Monday - 2 November 2020

 On Friday…this:

Mother Nature decided to close out our growing season with a flourish. After the snow, a killing frost.

Fortunately, it had been predicted, so I made sure to harvest all that I could beforehand. Normally I like to let the leeks go through several light frosts, to improve their flavor (so the story goes anyway). But they would not do well in a hard frost. This is the hybrid variety “Megaton,” and I can honestly say I’ve never grown such big ones.

Megaton leeks

Similarly, I would have wanted to let the spinach grow for a few more days at least, but I couldn’t chance it, so I took this decent picking and then mulched the plants with straw, hoping for spring regrowth.


Likewise, the last of the ripe raspberries had to be taken.

I brought the turmeric plant in, dumped out the soil, took what I wanted from the roots, and replanted a few for next year. I’m letting them air-dry for awhile, before I clean and dehydrate them.

Turmeric roots

Most of the tomatoes I brought in had completely ripened, so we made the last batch of thick sauce, a quart and a half. The Kitchen Goddess is very glad to have (most of) her kitchen counter back.

Tomato sauce

It had been over two weeks since we started fermenting several batches of hot peppers for sauce. So I extracted the sauce I could from the mashes. From left, there is a partial bottle of Hot Lemon, a Sugar Rush Peach, a bottle and a half of Habanero, and on the right, two bottles of something we call “Mash Mash.” It was what was left of the mashes of Hot Lemon and Habenero after extracting, blended with a small amount of vinegar. It at least has the consistency I like.

Fermented hot pepper sauces

I’ve sampled the Habanero, and found it to be very thin with not a lot of heat. The Sugar Rush Peach is thick like ketchup, but also lacks heat. I’m feeling very strongly that in the future I will just use the simple, unfermented method to make hot sauces.

But fermentation is not over. Using a recipe for Fermented Green Chili Base, from the great book Fiery Ferments, TKG put all the green Hot Lemon and Thai peppers (picked a few weeks ago) into the food processor, along with onions, garlic, ground cumin, and ground coriander. There is a popular commercial green salsa called “Mrs. Renfro’s.” So she’s calling this “Mrs. TKG’s” (except with her real name). It yielded 2 ½ quarts. Just tasting a little, it is unbelievably spicy and aromatic. This should be ready in a couple of weeks.

Chili base in fermenting jars

So that’s that for another year. We had a lot of successes, despite drought/insects/disease. I hope you did too, and I thank all of you for reading and commenting over the weeks. Special thanks to our Harvest Monday host Dave at I know keeping this forum going is a lot of work, and it is truly appreciated.

Tomorrow, November 3, is Election Day. TKG and I will once again be serving as election officials in our town--hopefully with sufficient Personal Protection Equipment! It should be interesting, to say the least. I urge you to vote if you haven't already. This is a big one!


  1. I so enjoyed reading about the ending of the garden and the lovely photo of the snow. Though I like year-round vegetable gardening, I do miss the rest--the pause--for reflection and time indoors. Thanks for sharing the seasonal rhythms with us.

    1. Thank you, Sue. We do have the seasons here, as you know, but a large part of me wishes we had year-round gardening like you do. The "rest" resembles hibernation.

  2. I am surprised the Sugar Rush Peach didn't make a hotter sauce, since it does here. And the snow is pretty, but I'm not ready for it yet! I've never had much luck with leeks so yours are impressive indeed. We voted early here, and thanks to you and your wife for serving as officials. That is Democracy in action.

    1. It was surprising that the fermented Sugar Rush was not hot. The unfermented certainly was super-spicy. Leeks are a pretty trouble-free crop here, as long as the voles leave them alone. Maybe your climate is too hot? We do feel good about serving as election officials. But part is a little nerve-wracking, as we do not have laws prohibiting guns in the polls. Let's hope there is not any "Trump Army" showing up. Who needs that?