Today's harvest

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taxlady

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Talking about volunteer tomatoes, a friend of mine lived in an apartment. She kept a worm compost bin to amend the soil for her flowers. When she moved to a flat with a yard, she dumped the worm casings in the backyard. She planted a few vegis and some flowers, but no tomatoes. Later that summer, there were tomato plants everywhere. They didn't produce an abundance of tomatoes, but quite a few. They were blander and tougher than supermarket tomatoes, so her free tomatoes were best for compost. We figure that the worms didn't digest the tomato seeds in the bins and that's where the tomatoes came from.
 

pepperhead212

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A couple of days ago, my 19 year old friend, that I got hooked on gardening a few years ago, with his Mom, sampled the first ripe Carolina reaper from his garden. I have sampled them, but he hasn't, though he did have those death spirals last season, which was hotter than the "chocolate reaper", he grew the year before. I wanted him to cut them into quarters, and sample those, but he got sort of antsy about it, and all he did was rub the pepper over his tongue. He sat there, and after about 10 seconds, said "OMG, and started drinking the milk, and realized, it wasn't going to do anything! lol So he ran for some ice cream he had, and realized that only worked for as long as it was still icey! I finally sampled the quarter I tried, and it wasn't as hot as the year I grew it, but hotter than an entire death spiral I sampled last season. I could only keep this one in my mouth for 29 sec, the original I tried a quarter of only 18 seconds. I told him this need left on longer, to get riper, and it will probably be up there.

Another pepper I took him to sample were some of those Kanthari peppers - the green ones are ripening first, but the violets are right behind, and they probably have a hundred or so tiny peppers on each plant, still producing, and growing. I found out they are a frutescens variety, with that distinctive flavor, probably under 100k, but not much! And I got my friend to sample it, by reminding him that we've already had the hottest, and this was going to be a piece of cake. So he popped one, and was blown over by the instantaneous heat! I kept chewing it over a minute, and he couldn't figure out how, and I told him the endorphins from that first one were still active - his were, too, but he hadn't chewed that as long, and the ice cream deactivated it some. His Mom was listening to us talking about all this, and cracking up! Two years ago, when she saw us sampling that Chocolate Reaper, wanted to see how hot that could possibly be? We were showing her all the oils on the veins, after we cut one open, and she took a knife and (though we both recommended against it) barely touched the tip of it to the oil, then barely touched it to her tongue...and felt like she was going to die! She did what he did with this reaper - kept ice cream on her tongue, until it was bearable. Ever since, she has only watched this, from a distance. :LOL:

Here are those Kanthari peppers ripening, about 3/4-1", and when picking them, I was reminded of another unique thing about them - when ripe, the peppers just pop right off! This is not something good about many peppers - when you pick them when ripe, they don't come off easily! Those Santaka Thai peppers I have to use scissors for - while doing this, I was reminded of one of the advantages of the Thai Vesuvius - they come off fairly quickly, w/o breaking off anything with it.

I only picked 4 of these today, to make something with, but there are countless ones out there!
The green Kanthari peppers ripening, 8-16. These are definitely a C. frutescens variety. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
 

larry_stewart

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3 months after 'planting' them, My Almond Mushrooms finally produced.
This variety grows in warm weather in compost as long as it is under the shade of plants.
It is recommended to plant under tomato plants or other bushy plants. Basically just apply some compost, and work the inoculated mushroom material in and wait about 1 month. Since it was so hot with little to no rain, nothing happened at first. To my surprise, while watering my plants a saw a few pop up. They get their name because they have the slight scent of almond ( like an almond extract) to them.

Also made a bunch of cucumbers salad today.
I ripped up most of my Kirby vines cause they stopped producing, but I still have some random cucumber ( and a few Kirby) vines scattered around the garden that are still producing
 

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pepperhead212

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I like the sound of that mushroom, Larry! What other flavors does it have?

I picked a bunch more peppers today, and if it stayed dark longer, I would have picked some eggplants, which are starting up again, though I see the heat is coming back. :(

Those aruna peppers initially formed a fairly large number of peppers on the two plants, which took quite a while to start ripening, but has been happening quickly, once it started. Plus there are many more flowers, and new peppers on both plants, so it seems fairly productive. I'm hoping it is similar to a pepper I used to get the seeds for at Pinetree - Superthai - which was long, and about 50k heat level. The good thing I used it for was Nam Prik Pao - something hotter peppers weren't as good in, and some peppers just didn't get that caramelized flavor in, like this did. However they dropped Superthai for years (and what has that name now, is totally different), and I hadn't been able to stabilize it, as many times as I saved seeds. And a number of similar looking peppers, like this, were too hot (yes, I said that!), or no flavor. I'm hoping, with this variety, it is similar, since it is OP.
More Aruna peppers ripening, since I put a full tray in dehydrator yesterday. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Another favorite, and unique pepper - Hanoi Market - is starting to ripen faster now. I had gotten a couple at a time a little while ago, but now they are starting to ripen faster, which is about normal for them. Only other one of the orange peppers that I have grown that had a similar taste - Bulgarian Carrot - but that's hotter, and not as productive. And the places that used to carry the seeds stopped carrying them, so I have to save them.
Hanoi Market peppers, starting to ripen quickly, 8-22 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And more Thai peppers today, after putting those 2 trays in the dehydrator yesterday. And a few more jalapenos.
More Thai Santaka and Vesuvius, plus a few jalapenos. 8-22 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And here's another pepper that I didn't harvest, as it will get hotter, on the plant.
Reapers ripening quickly, 8-22 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

My Thai red long beans are producing quickly now, and have to be picked daily, like okra, or they get too large. There's one I missed yesterday, and it got too large, so I'll leave it until dried, to save seeds.
Thai red long bean, got overgrown, so I'll save it for the seeds. Was probably ready yesterday, but I missed it. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Thai red long bean my most productive now, though others are coming back some, after that heat let up. 90s coming back, though. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I harvested the butternuts today - only one per plant, though the polaris will have much more later. The Butterbush only produced one per plant, then they just die off, like last year, so I won't grow those again.
Far right 3 Butterbush, the rest Polaris Butternut, harvested 8-22 Another flush of fruits forming on Polaris, which is usually more. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And one last thing I did, since they were getting too large, was to trim one of the kaffir lime trees, so I could walk by it easier! There are no restaurants/grocers in the area to share it with, like I do with epazote and curry leaves, so they just get thrown out.
A bunch of excess, trimmed Kaffir lime leaves. Not even finished yet! Have to trim them way back, before re-potting. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
 

larry_stewart

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I like the sound of that mushroom, Larry! What other flavors does it have? /QUOTE]

The predominant flavor is that of a mild common mushroom. The almond flavor is subtle, almost the type of thing where you can smell it more that you can taste it, but its there. The texture is a little less dense than the common button or cremini mushroom. I haven't let one fully develop yet, as one of the major issues with growing mushrooms outside is that once the gils are exposed, it provides a great place for insects to hide, therefore, much more difficult to clean.

This is the first time ive grown them. At first I just lightly cooked ne just to see if it really had that almond-like scent. Then, throughout the day yesterday I harvested about a dozen more. I marinated them ) along with a few other varieties I got at the store. They still held on to their almond like flavor, but the marinade definitely overpowered it. Again, its not a very bold flavor, but just enough to recognize. I think when using its something you need to consider, cause it may throw a dish off a bit if it doesnt pair well. Im still in the experimental stages. I guarantee here will be a bunch more later today, as it is raining outside which will probably trigger more growth.

Here is a link to where I got them with aa brief description.

https://www.fieldforest.net/product...s-Sawdust-Spawn/almond-agaricus-sawdust-spawn
 

pepperhead212

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I have almost enough of those Aruna peppers to put in the dehydrator. Every day, there are 2 or 3 more ripe ones, with many blossoms, and all different sized green ones.
Aruna peppers, 9-02. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Those kanthari peppers are quite hot - about 80-100k, and definitely getting hotter, as they ripened more! Today I picked most that were completely ripe - still a lot more unripe and blush ones than I pulled. Definitely a C. frutescens variety - the ripe ones pull right off the stems, with little force.
Kanthari peppers - a C. frutescens type, picked ripe, 9-02. Larger ones are the purple variety, smaller ones started green. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I took a small bag of these to that Indian grocer, when I took him that bag of trimmed curry leaves. He looked at them and I told him they were kanthari peppers, and he yelled something to the back, and a guy came up front, and when the owner told him what they were (I assume that's what he was saying), the guy picked one up, popped it in his mouth, and immediately was freaked out from it! I have no idea what he was saying, but the owner said he definitely liked it, and hadn't seen that type of pepper since he was "back home"; though I don't know where that was, the food of the restaurant section there was definitely southern Indian style.

I have one of those purple kanthari plants in the ground in the front, with no peppers - I think that was shielded too much by the okra and zinnias. But I'm thinking of digging it up, and planting it in a pot, to try to winter over at low temps. I'll have to learn more about that from those who do it.
 

larry_stewart

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Finally rained around here, and with rain comes mushrooms. Another 30 shiitake off of the 2 year old logs. Dried for future use. A few of those Almond mushrooms.
 

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pepperhead212

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pepperhead212

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And here are some others I picked earlier, when the peppers are in the shade. Those long red Arunas will be dried, like the rest have been, but all the rest will be frozen. The orange Hanoi Market all get frozen, but with the red Thai and Superchilis I dry the early ones, and freeze these later ones, so they are in the freezer less time. And the later green ones I freeze in a separate jar, and vacuum bags, for the rest.
A few ripe peppers, picked on 9-16 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
 

larry_stewart

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It's remarkable how quick mushrooms grow under the right conditions. I planted a variety on August 19th. The instructions say that it takes about 4 weeks to see them start to pop out of the ground. Sure enough, September 19th I saw them bursting through the wood chips. I took pics of Sept 19th, Sept 20th and today, Sept 21st, when I harvested. Its cooler and we got a little rain , so Im sure that helped.
 

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taxlady

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Larry, that both makes me want to try my hand at growing mushrooms and tells me not to bother. It looks fun and productive. But, the hubster doesn't like 'shrooms, so what would I do with that many mushrooms? :ROFLMAO:
 

larry_stewart

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Larry, that both makes me want to try my hand at growing mushrooms and tells me not to bother. It looks fun and productive. But, the hubster doesn't like 'shrooms, so what would I do with that many mushrooms? :ROFLMAO:
Im just sorry it took me so long to start doing it. Luckily My wife likes them also. I started with a few of those mushroom in a box kits. They worked well and were relatively predictable. Then I found a company that sells many different varieties for both indoor and outside growth. I only choose the ones that are no brainers to identify. ( I dont want to take any chances).

What I like the most is that they often grow in areas where nothing else (that you can eat) grow, In the shade. They are also mostly productive pre and post garden season ( some are productive throughout the summer too). And some come back year after year, with no extra effort other than not to forget to check them. They grow so quick , that not checking for a few days could make the difference of a great harvest to a bug infested , smelly rotting harvest ( I've never gotten one of these yet). All the Shiitake I harvest this year ( about 100) are from the logs I inoculated 2 years ago.

During the winter I get oyster and grow them on toilet paper rolls ( Unused :) ) . Not the most productive, but once you load the toilet paper rolls , they can stay Dormant in the fridge for 6 months, so every 2 weeks I take 2 out of the fridge to mature. Lasts me the whole winter.

Sorry I'm rambling on, I'm just so excited that I'm having a good mushroom year.
 

larry_stewart

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Fun crop. Grew popcorn. I harvested them a few weeks ago, but left them in my boiler room to fully dry. Today was movie day, so I decided to go for the full experience and pop my own popcorn. I grew 2 varieties. I forget exactly which they were, but one had colorful kernels and the other was a pale pink. The colorful kernels were larger and prettier, the pink ones were smaller, but popped better. All in all, about 85 - 90% popped and had a nice fresh crunch. Not sure if Ill grow them again, but was fun. ( just Checked, it was ' Mini Pink, and Glass Gem' from Baker Creek Catalogue).
 

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blissful

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Larry those are gorgeous!
Last Christmas my son and his roommate bought us fresh mid america popcorn, different kinds. It makes such a difference to get the fresh stuff! Thank you so much for sharing the pictures. I love the multicolored popcorn on the cob, gorgeous!
 

larry_stewart

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Larry those are gorgeous!
Last Christmas my son and his roommate bought us fresh mid america popcorn, different kinds. It makes such a difference to get the fresh stuff! Thank you so much for sharing the pictures. I love the multicolored popcorn on the cob, gorgeous!
Yeah, just seeing those ' glass gem' in the seed catalogue sold me. I couldn't believe that it would actually grow just like the advertised picture, and it did. I didnt get many cobs of corn as I would have liked, but o the corns defense, I didn't provide them with proper growing conditions. I grew them in pots, completely overcrowded the pots with way too many plants, and the most sun they got, was the minimum of what they need. Some bug issues, and always on the lookout for the hungry squirrel. All that aside, although I cant say it was the best popcorn ive ever tried, but it was as good ( and better than most). And just the freshness and crispness of the popped kernels was great. After the harvest, I wasn't sure if I'd grow them again, but after today, I can see myself growing them again in the future. It was a lot of fun.
 

blissful

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I planted sunflowers with amaranth, both pretty tall. I harvested the red amaranth today, it will sit in a paper bag until dry, for the seeds to eat and to plant. The green amaranth isn't ready to harvest yet. The sunflowers are hunched over with the weight of the heads.

I think we're done harvesting and canning beans, green and yellow beans. We've been giving beans to the neighbor. We might let the kids harvest anything we get off them from now on. It's cold but there might be one more picking from it-three patches.

Our zucchini died off, maybe touched by frost. The cucumbers and squash are still green. We picked 8 cucumbers today, for pickles soon.

Tomorrow we're canning pears into pear sauce again.
 

pepperhead212

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I picked all of the ripe Carolina Reaper peppers today - 48 of them on one plant - and took them up to the Mexican grocery/restaurant in town. The owner was standing out front when I walked up, and he knew I had something for him! I told him I had never brought him this one before, and wasn't sure if he would even want them, given how hot they are! He opened the bag and looked cautiously (not sure what he thought it would do), then he said "Oooohhhh...I've seen these but never had them before!" He told me there are a couple of guys in the kitchen that will want to try them, and there is a dish they will definitely make with it - a simple bean dish, usually black beans, since it is is a Yucatan dish, pork, onion, a little Mexican oregano, and habanero. In this case, they have used the ghost peppers - the superhots he does have sometimes, but he said he'd have them use this one, and see how much better it is. I'll have to go back in a few days, and ask him how they fared!

I got my corn tortillas, as always, and a large can of chipotles, and some Oaxacan string cheese. And I saw something I was low on last time I used it - True cinnamon, which he has in a bulk food bucket, so I got about 4½ oz, which is a generous amount, given how thin and light it is. When he rang the order up, he told me that was on him - a generous gift, in return for the peppers.

I also picked about 1 1/2 c kanthari peppers - the frutescens variety, one of which was purple. And I dug the smallest one out of the ground, and planted it in a little less than 3 gal soil mix. And I'll cut it back even further. I'll see if it works out.
Purple Kanthari pepper, transplanted 9-27. Cut way back, but will definitely cut back more. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

About 1 1/2 c Kanthari peppers - a variety of frutescens peppers. 9-27 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

A pepper I started harvesting in early August, when I started ripening, was Aruna. They started out all about the same time and size, like a determinate type, but when about 1/3 of them had ripened, and had been harvested, it started flowering gradually again, and started growing like an indeterminate type, with a few ripening every couple of days, and always a few smaller, and all different sizes, as well as new flowers. I've got close to 2 qts dried from 2 plants, with a bunch more already picked, and many more all over the plants. It is about 5-6" by about 3/8", and about 30-40k, so a little milder than a similar pepper I've been trying to replace - Superthai - a hybrid (unfortunately) from Pinetree years ago, that they dropped, and years later the same name was totally different. And a couple of nights ago I made some simple hot oil with .75 oz aruna, slightly crushed, with 3/4 c oil, heated to about 375°, and the peppers darkened quickly, with a fantastic aroma from the caramelizing. I could still smell that this morning in my kitchen, from this small amount! Will definitely be good for when I make that nam prik pao.
Dried Aruna peppers, crushed some, and used to make some hot oil. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
 

larry_stewart

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Today Ill likely pick whatever is let on the tomatoes (Ripening or not). I may make a small batch of pickled green tomatoes and another small batch of green tomatoes that I learned from my dad's Italian gardener. I leave everything else too ripen ( if they can) and whatever doesnt Ill probably toss.

Ill also pick the rest of the chard that is in the way of my future garlic crop. Ill transplant them after picking the largest leaves so I can get another picking later on in the fall or even in the winter. I find chard handles the snow relatively well, and I've often dug a few leaves out from under the snow.

All I got left are some small sweet snacking peppers, a bunch of butternut squash, Parsley, which like he chard, Ill leave and harvest throughout the winter as needed. I got some lettuce and arugula that are growing slowly, and hopefully mature enough o harvest. Depending on what happens, I may have to through a row cover over them or make a throw together cold frame to protect them.

My last real harvest will be sweet potatoes and peanuts, which I typically do about the same time I plant my garlic, mid to late October.

Also keeping an eye on my mushrooms. Some are due, now with the cooler weather, but unpredictable. I have to make it more of a daily routine to check, as I found two huge shiitakes by surprise yesterday. Significantly larger than an apple. They measure about 4 -5 inches in diameter. (See pic below)

I did order some mushroom spawn , one too repopulate one of my wine cap mushroom beds, and the other for something to do over the winter (Oysters mushrooms I grow on (Unused) toilet paper.

I started some dill in my hydroponics. They are about 2 inches high. I often have problems with dill inside, cause the plants are so thin, and my basement is so dry, the plants often dry up. I tried to create an environment that will be more humid. We'll see what happens .
 

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dragnlaw

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You talked about mushrooms, upstairs I opened a box in the kitchen and my DIL has these HUGE Portobella's same size as your shiitake, I clic on a linc (elsewhere) and up pops a bunch of mushroom recipes (sorry usually with meat) and one stood out...
..Mushroom Wellington - not vegan but you might be able to adapt? Sounds fiddley but I might give it a try.

Forgot, also on my week's menu was to be a Mushroom Barley Soup... :giggle:
 
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