Hello again from Eight Gate Farm. Fall is definitely in the air, with generally pleasant days and cool nights. Here and there the trees are starting to change color. This is not surprising, as it's been Meteorological Fall for a few weeks now. Astronomical Fall, of course, begins this coming week.
But that's enough science for one day. I'm always amused that many of the peppers only begin maturing in this season, since they are thought of as warm-weather crops. But here they are. Hot Lemon is one of my favorites. It goes by several other names, I think, but I stick with Hot Lemon since that's what's on the seed packet. I find the fruit really attractive. It's supposed to be only as hot as a cayenne, but to me it's much hotter. We mostly use it for hot sauce.
And speaking of cayenne, I picked the first Thin Cayennes this week. For some reason this year they are thicker than usual. Normally they look like the one on the right in this picture.
My friend, who loves to grow interesting peppers as much as I do, gave me a Sugar Rush Cream plant. This is another in the series developed by a Welsh grower. I've grown Sugar Rush Peach in the past, and loved the look of them. They are way too hot to eat, but make a great hot sauce after roasting. We tried a piece of a Cream, and while it definitely has heat, it's not as much as Peach. They are smaller too. It has the fruitiness you expect from a Baccatum-type. I'm saving the seeds for next year.
|Sugar Rush Cream|
On a whim I picked up a Pimiento Elite pepper plant at the garden center. It too gave us its first ripe fruit this week. They are surprisingly dense; the larger one weighed over 5 ounces (~142 g). I'm not sure what to do with them; probably I will add them to the Hungarian Cheese peppers to make paprika.
I also cut the first winter squash this week. These are the hybrid spaghetti squash called Sugaretti.
These are the hybrid butternuts called Butterscotch.
Last year was incredible for winter squash; this year poor. I planted fewer plants, and the squash bug predation was fierce.
Now on to continuing harvests. Here's Tuesday's tomato picking.
|Tuesday tomato harvest|
Here's Tuesday's general harvest.
|Tuesday general harvest|
Here's Friday's tomato picking, even less than Tuesday's.
|Friday tomato harvest|
And Friday's general harvest.
|Friday general harvest|
I think I grew too much eggplant!
Experimentation in the garden means you'll naturally win some/lose some. I definitely count what follows as a win. I've mentioned that while the Blue Wind broccoli plants produce a steady stream of small, tender side-shoots after their heads are harvested, the Imperial does not. But I've learned that by cutting the Imperial plants down to several inches above the soil, any remaining branches below that level have the potential to grow nearly full-size heads on their own. This is great, because harvesting side-shoots (examples in the general harvest photos) can be fussy.
|Imperial broccoli from second growth|
Fall raspberries are just booming, requiring daily picking or even twice-daily. Here's a sample harvest, weighing one pound.
My technique of picking under-ripe tomatoes and finishing them inside is working well. Sure, I have to go through them and discard any that have died, but it's not many. When enough are ripe, it's time to process them. So I picked some cilantro (coriander leaves) and Jalapenos...
|Cilantro and Jalapenos|
...and The Kitchen Goddess made and canned 10 pints of super-spicy salsa. We also added the Cream peppers and used up several nearly empty hot sauce bottles, for extra kick. Wow!
That's all for this week. I hope your week was good too. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Dave at HappyAcres.blog
for continuing to host Harvest Monday!