Saturday, August 20, 2011

Like the Energizer Bunny

The summer garden keeps going ...

In general, the harvests have become more manageable (the tomato avalanche has subsided), but we have been processing peppers pretty steadily. Right now, there is an assortment of red peppers, both sweet and hot, in the dehydrator that I plan to grind up for "paprika," and I am contemplating another round of pickled pepper rings from the Golden Greek peppers (that are not at all golden) below:

These Feherezon peppers have been producing well all summer:

This year, I remembered to fertilize the peppers again after the first flush of fruits had reached full size, and that may have helped the pepper harvest. If they are treated well and manage to avoid diseases, peppers will produce until frost.

Another summer veggie that will come to the kitchen soon is the Pigott Family Heirloom Cowpeas. This little crop had been planted in the spot from which we harvested potatoes earlier in the summer, and it seems to like that spot just fine. One of the great things about all the summer peas is that they are so easy to harvest - it's almost as though the plants are holding the peas out for you to pick!

The variety of foods coming into the kitchen isn't tremendous, but the flavor is, and we have earlier crops in the freezer (zucchini, collard greens, green beans) if we get tired of tomatoes, peppers, okra, and eggplants.

There is still chard in the garden, but it is struggling a bit in the heat, and I am thinking about cutting the tops off for compost and letting the tops regrow in what will hopefully be cooler weather in the coming weeks. There is also Malabar spinach, which I like well enough to snack on when I'm out in the yard (like purslane) but not well enough for a big serving as part of a meal.

The first melons are in the fridge (photo to come in a day or two), and the Heritage red raspberries have been ripening their late-summer crop that appears on the first-year canes.

Overall, I've had a surprisingly successful summer garden this year.

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