Here's another Harvest Monday report from Eight Gate Farm. We had three "new" harvests this week. Two I'll show first, the other will be at the end, because there's a story to it.
It looked like one row of garlic was ready to pull as most of the leaves had browned, even though this is several weeks earlier than last year. Last fall I planted three rows with 16 cloves each of three types. I labeled each row, but neglected to write down somewhere what was what. And naturally, the writing on the markers faded. So I'm not sure if this is "Music" or "Chesnok Red."
|First harvest of hardneck garlic|
The bulbs are nice, but not Fair prizewinners in terms of size. Regardless, it's good to have a harvest as we are almost out of last year's garlic.
The second new harvest was basil. I grew two types, "Genovese," and "Thai." Genovese is something many are familiar with, and Thai is stronger-flavored and aromatic. The Kitchen Goddess cut a good amount, along with a large amount of Italian parsley, all to put in the dehydrator.
|Genovese and Thai basil, along with Italian Parsley|
For continuing harvests, I did several picking of salad greens, still looking quite good.
I also took the last head of iceberg lettuce, not bolting but starting to get a little pointy.
I cut another nice big fennel bulb.
I continue to be impressed with "Pantheon" zucchini, a hybrid replacement for the Cocozelle di Napoli I've grown for many years. In comparison, Pantheon is earlier, more compact, less spiny, and more productive, with the same rich nutty taste and strongly ribbed appearance. I'd say it's a winner.
"Yellowfin" zucchini is also doing well this year, so far.
|Yellowfin zucchini, plus a Pantheon|
I needed to make room in the fridge for more harvests, so I processed some vegetables for the freezer. It netted six quart bags of zucchini, broccoli, and snow peas. Not one to waste anything, I cooked down the water used to steam them, and TKG added it to an egg drop soup made with our snow peas and spring onions.
|Vegetables ready for freezer|
Now for the story. Here it is...a full quart of hot peppers!
|'Sugar Rush Cream' hot peppers|
"But wait!" I hear you say (in my imagination). "In your climate you don't get hot peppers until September." Yes, that's true...but I have a trick!
At the end of the season last year I dug up this plant, pruned it down to 3 short branches (3 -4 inches long, no leaves), washed the root ball completely clean of soil, replanted it in soil-less mix, and kept it in a cool room (+/- 55 F.) with some sun exposure, all winter. I watered it occasionally. It just sat there, its branches green but not growing. Finally about February I moved it into the warm sunroom, and it immediately started to send out growth.
I transplanted it out to its bed in early May, much earlier than the peppers I started from seed. Here's what it looked like then.
|Pepper plant transplanted early|
And here's what it looks like now, dwarfing the seed-started peppers in front.
|Sugar Rush Cream pepper now|
It's just loaded with fruit. I picked only those that were touching the soil.
This was not my original idea. I got it from the folks who make videos on YouTube under the name "PepperGeek." I was pretty sure it wouldn't work, but you can see it did. Note that this is not the same as overwintering a full plant. I tried that a few years ago and all I got was a bunch of whiteflies in the sunroom. With this technique, you don't introduce any pests from outdoors. I'm going to do this for five or six plants, both sweet and hot, at the end of this growing year. It's fun to get a jump on the season!
TKG put the peppers in the food processor and began a fermentation batch for hot sauce. I'm glad she's handling this, because I've been less than happy with my own fermentation results.
|Sugar Rush Cream peppers fermenting.|
Thanks for reading, and apologies for going long. Thanks once again to Dave at HappyAcres.blog
for continuing to host Harvest Monday.