It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The weather took a sudden turn colder last week, and we had moderate frosts a couple of mornings. I was scrambling to harvest all the frost sensitive crops I could, except for the sweet potatoes which will need to be dug this week. I got a lot of pole beans that I shelled and froze, plus a few eggplant. It has been a great year for eggplant, and we have had plenty to eat for several months now.
I finally got a few ripe Sugar Rush Peach peppers, though hardly enough to make a decent amount of hot sauce. They have taken forever to ripen, and I believe I need to try a different seed source other than the one I got them from (Refining Fire Chiles). Adaptive Seeds lists it and says “Ripens early for a C. baccatum pepper and produces well even in cool growing conditions.” Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds says “super early, high yields of these exquisite sweet-hot peppers.” Neither of those describes the plants I have grown the last couple of years, which get big but are late bearing even in our hot climate.
On a happier note, I also found a few end of season tomatoes. The quality wasn’t great, but for October tomatoes I’ll gladly take them!
I used the tomatoes and eggplant along with sweet peppers from a previous harvest to make a batch of sheet pan ratatouille. I served it on creamy polenta, and this dish has become a favorite for us here. We really enjoyed this batch since it will surely be the last until next season.
With frost approaching I picked all the ripe hot peppers I could find to make a bit more hot sauce. This round included Flaming Flare, Early Flame and Sweet Jalapeno. I also got a few more of the Garden Salsa which I am drying to make chile powder. If the frost spared the plants, I will harvest green ones for chile powder too.
I also got a big harvest of the C. baccatum Aji Rico peppers – right at three pounds worth! This 2017 AAS Winner is truly a star producer for me here, and the ripe peppers have a great flavor along with a medium heat level. They make a tasty hot sauce, which is what I plan to do with these.
I also have a new one I’m trialing here this year called Aji Colorado. It has only ripened a few so far, and while the peppers have a good flavor I don’t think they are any match for Aji Rico.
My wife used several of our Escamillo and Carmen sweet peppers to make a pepper quiche. We enjoyed it for dinner one night, and the leftovers were even tastier for lunch the next day.
It seemed like a good time to gather any winter squash that had matured, and I found six of the Centercut and one big Turkeyneck neck pumpkin. The Turkeyneck weighed a whopping 12.5 pounds, and the six Centercut squashes totaled 17 pounds. That should keep us supplied for our winter needs! The Turkeyneck squash get big, but I think the mature Centercut has a better flavor so I will likely grow more of it next year and skip the Turkeyneck. I also harvest the Centercut at the green, immature stage when it is great for roasting.
Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And please take a minute and check out what everyone is harvesting!