11 11 11 – On Armistice Day, the Philharmonic Will Play – Weekly Update 11-11-2012

Last week it was Guy Fawkes Day, now it’s Armistice Day, and tomorrow some of us have the day off for this day that we now call Veterans Day. My son is a cadet at a senior military college, and I couldn’t be more proud that he went to Army Basic Training this summer, and so “thank you” to those people who have served and lived and died for this country.

Cayennes in a Bucket

Bountiful variety

Harvests: The last of the peppers – picked as we removed the plants. Ditto for field peas.  A few small carrots and radishes to put into salads. Leaf lettuces, arugula, and other spicy salad greens (such as a type of mustard). Cilantro which went into a lemongrass soup and parsley and dill which we dried. Our first real sized leek!

The Real Leek

We grew leeks last year but we didn’t realize they had such a long growing season (because seed packets lie) and we direct seeded them with lukewarm success. We had to harvest them before their time because we needed the box. On the advice of The Gardener of Eden (link to her blog is on our home page), we planted them in a box that wouldn’t have harvest pressures this year. We also started the seeds inside and transplanted them out when they were about 6″ tall. The one we harvested is definitely the largest one, but we’re hoping the rest will continue to size up.

Washed lettuces

Cilantro

Dill, parsley, and beans

With the exception of a few butterbean plants, all the remaining summer crops are gone now. Hurrah and all that because this was a long year in the garden and we don’t mind slacking off some now. It’s amazing that many of the pepper plants were still flowering in November. I guess this is because their natural season is longer than our growing season here in piedmont, NC. I think I remember reading that many peppers are perennials in the right climate, but don’t quote me  on that.

Our first frost occurred on the 8th and it was mild. That’s over 2 weeks later than our average date of 10/23.

Chopped Sweet Peppers

We managed to dry all of the peppers intended for drying this week. Our poor dog suffered through the smell of the peppers drying in the oven for days – mostly while we were at work, but we did have to suffer along all last weekend. I have bags and bags of dried ground peppers now, plus lots of canned or frozen chopped sweet peppers.

Dried hot pepper powders

We’re taking stock of our growing needs and will likely convert at least one more long box to permanent berry production of some sort next spring. We’re fortunate that we’ve been able to grow so much of our produce but we’ve determined that we can scale back some on certain items and still eat well year round.  This comes from a variety of factors, including that we don’t really need *that many* hot peppers for drying every year – we made enough dried peppers this year to make chili powders all the way through the next growing season and into the next year. Also, some items just don’t do well here – eventually we’re gonna give up trying to prove we can grow some of them, like certain kinds of winter squash and certain brassica.

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3 Responses to “11 11 11 – On Armistice Day, the Philharmonic Will Play – Weekly Update 11-11-2012”

  1. Bee Girl (AKA Melissa) Says:

    I appreciate your reflections here. I am thinking hard about what to continue trying to grow and what to give up on. There’s a fine balance between wants and needs and in small spaces it seems more productive to grow what you know you’ll eat instead of what “might be nice to try” 🙂 Your harvests are gorgeous, by the way!!! Cheers!

  2. kitsapfg Says:

    What a bounty from your garden as you removed crops for the season. I love having bags of chopped sweet peppers in the freezer. It makes evening work day meal prep so easy to scoop out what I need of diced onions, diced sweet peppers, and sliced celery from bags of them in the freezer. Real convenience and real tasty!

  3. Patsy Says:

    Very nice to see your harvest! I am intrigued by your dried ground peppers. When I was in Haiti this past summer I saw pepper plants in one family’s garden that were indeed perrenials. The stems were large and woody like a small bush and there were the peppers growing on them!

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