25 September Weekly Garden Update

Parsley in a railing box

Parts of the Garden are in a lull.  The lettuces aren’t quite big enough to pick yet, the tomatoes are way down, and the green beans didn’t have much of a week.  Not that we don’t have quite enough of green beans and tomatoes by now anyway.

Only the peppers remain in super-oxygenated growing mode, and frankly I’m getting tired of what to do with some of them.  At least I have routines now for the hot peppers, and the red sweet bell and pimiento peppers.  But the green italian and anaheim peppers are starting to get me down, and I may take a walk around the neighborhood to try to foist some off on other people.

This week’s Harvesting:  Okra, cucumber!, a sole radish, tomatillos, Peppers out the Yin-Yang, field peas and butter beans (both very nice quantities), some green beans, broccoli raab, swiss chard, mustard and kale, 2 long purple eggplants, 1 black beauty, and tomatoes.

Peas & Peppers

September Veggies

One day's picking

Would make a nice veggie centerpiece

Mustard & Kale

I charred the skins of red peppers in the big skillet and then canned them in vinegar & water.  I’m still learning on this process, so here are a few tidbits I’ve picked up so far:

Charring pepper skins

a) Putting some not quite ripe tomatoes in a paper bag with peppers that haven’t turned all the way yet will in fact turn them bright colors and works very well.

b) Open flame works better than any other process for charring the skins.  The rest cook the pepper itself too much.  Therefore I have decided that between this and playing with sugar I need a blowtorch.  Just a cheapie one from the builder’s store, but …yeah.  Wheeeeee, a new toy!  FIRE FIRE FIRE! (ok I’m calming down now).

c) After charring, place in yet another paper bag and close it.  Leave about 30 minutes so they can sweat.  This is the real point in the process at which the peeling gets significantly easier, and without it will just be a pain.  No matter how tempting, don’t immerse in water, or use running water to assist in the peeling process — doing so will wash away flavor and affect the texture of the peppers.  I have learned this the hard way.

c) Just peeling them with a vegetable peeler may work with no more overall trouble than charring, so I’ll try that and report back.

d) Pack the jars as tight as you can, add a 50% white vinegar/water solution, along with a tablespoon of salt per pint.  Process for 10 minutes, just long enough for the jars to seal.  I tried brown cider vinegar and it didn’t turn out as well.

We cooked a mess o’ greens (mustard, kale, & some broccoli raab) in our favorite way and froze them into three separate meal-sized portions.  We tried this in the spring at the tail end of the greens season when we were overrun with them and tired of eating them, and discovered that they’re the next best thing to harvested and cooked that day.  They take really well to being frozen after being cooked (see our recipe for braised greens).

It rained several days this week.  Between that and our work schedules, we did very little else in the garden.  Also, most of the week the weather was between 68 and 78 during the day, so until the fall/winter crops decide to produce more we have a small break in the volume of work that needs to be done.

Salad dressings were on sale this week — we’ve stocked up now in anticipation of the new salad season.  Salad dressings are one of the few  pre-processed foods we still buy.  I can make a good Caesar from scratch when the occasion demands it, but the chemistry available to large manufacturers still makes cake mixes and salad dressings good buys for us.

All the railing box crops are doing well:  herbs & lettuce mostly.

Lettuce

Lettuce

Cilantro

Some of our boxes:

Cabbage

Brassica

Lettuce box

Greens - Mustard & Kale

Small Beet Box (no, not a Beat Box, a Beet Box)

September Garden

September Garden Two

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5 Responses to “25 September Weekly Garden Update”

  1. meemsnyc Says:

    Wow and wow! Your harvests are phenomenal! My peppers have been slow to grow. I think I need to plant them where they get more sun.

  2. Bee Girl Says:

    What a great harvest! And thanks for the tips on ripening up tomatoes and peppers! I’ve put avocados in paper bags to ripen them, not sure why I didn’t think about it for anything else!!!

  3. Barbie Says:

    Peeling nad not charring doesn’t taste nearly as good, just FYI. That char REALLY makes a difference in taste – especially in sauces and salsas….MMMMmmmMMMmmm….. LOL THose peppers look delicious. I’m in a (bell) pepper lull right now.

  4. KitsapFG Says:

    Nothing beats the taste of roasted peppers..smell is heavenly too! You are still getting a phenomenal amount from your weekly harvest totals.

  5. GrafixMuse Says:

    Great tip for ripening peppers! I’ll have to give that a try. Do you have a grill? Roasting peppers on a grill works as well. I flip them until all sides are charred, then place them in a glass bowl topped with a dinner plate to keep the heat in so they sweat. They peel really easily. Although, a blowtorch sounds fun 🙂

    I didn’t grown any fall lettuce and I miss it. Beautiful and very colorful harvest.

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