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Chilli-head
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Chilli-head

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» Kiva - Loans that change lives.
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» Harvest season in the September garden
by Dandelion 21st September 2018, 10:10 pm

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by Chilli-head 19th September 2018, 6:41 pm

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by Ploshkin 17th September 2018, 9:05 pm

» What are you preserving today?
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» Reflections on the season - 2018
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» A good year for the forager ?
by Ploshkin 12th September 2018, 9:03 pm

» First go at proper wine
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» What are you harvesting today?
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» Pizza oven !
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What are you harvesting today?

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Post by frankbeswick on 23rd August 2018, 1:58 pm

I have just turned a butternut squash Into some soup. With a tomato and a red chilli added it tasted great.

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Post by Ploshkin on 23rd August 2018, 2:07 pm

14 corn cobs, I take them off one or two at a time (often daily) so I don't need to use them all in one go.
We binge on sweetcorn for a couple of weeks and I put some in the freezer.
I'm harvesting potatoes and beans outside, courgettes, carrots, tomatoes, mange tout, sweet peppers and strawberries from the polytunnel and mushrooms and blackberries from the fields.
My lipstick peppers didn't germinate so I grabbed a packet of pointy pepper seeds from a garden centre. They are an F1 called Thor and are phenomenal. Each plant has at least 15 peppers up to 8" long. I rather think they liked the hot conditions this year.

Funny you should say about apples Freebird. My crab apple tree has its first ever decent crop and a small desert apple that I have in an unsuitable location has got about a dozen really nice fruits (usual crop is zero). Victoria plums are looking good, not a massive crop but reasonable and unblemished also damsons, I've only ever had a crop once before. I think the fruit usually has problems associated with cold and wet.
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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd August 2018, 2:30 pm

freebird wrote:Thanks CH though I think I may have missed the boat. No flowers now.

Rocotos are one of the best chillies for surviving overwintering though, so maybe not all is lost ?
I've got a reasonable crop on Basket of fire, a nice decorative one with upward pointing fruits.  Some Ohnivec too, the others are not ripe yet.  I used the Ohnivec with my own onions, garlic, courgettes, pink fir apple potatoes and dwarf beans in a vegetable curry last night.  We have a fairly good result on the sweetcorn, about 10 cobs left with a pretty good fill.

My pears seem to be ripe enough to eat, and rather tasty too.  Very happy if that tree continues to do well.  

frankbeswick wrote:I have just turned a butternut squash Into some soup. With a tomato and a red chilli added it tasted great.
 

And what doesn't benefit from a dash of chilli ?   My butternuts are looking promising this year, and winter squash Festival, though I won't be eating them for a bit.
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Post by frankbeswick on 23rd August 2018, 2:49 pm

I enjoyed the soup more than restaurant butternut squash soup because restaurant squash soup always tastes too sweet, but this had a savoury flavour.

My squash have run wild this year, and the sweetcorn has done well. I asked my eldest son did his wife eat corn. He replied, "Have you ever met an African who doesn't?" She is Angolan and her role in my self-reliant operation is that as a trained chef she turns stuff into jam and whatever else I want. In turn she gets a fifty per cent split of the food.
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Post by freebird on 23rd August 2018, 8:32 pm

Sounds like a good arrangement, Frank.

I don't think my Yellow Rocoto has much to fear from the weather in being over-wintered, but I am totally rubbish with things in pots. Hence my automatic watering system - but that will be drained down in the winter. We'll see .....

Ploshkin - all my cobs were in the freezer within two and a half hours of being picked. There are so many other things to eat at this time of year which I prefer not to freeze, such as runner and French beans. We'll enjoy them later on, along with all the broad beans I froze.
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Post by Chilli-head on 24th August 2018, 9:46 pm

I have two very enthusiastic patty-pan type squashes at the lotty. But I still can't see the point of them. They look pretty, but if I pick them small, they are rather vegetal in flavour, not as nice as a courgette. If I let them grow larger, the flesh layer between the skin and the seeds and pith is so thin as to be almost useless.
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Post by freebird on 25th August 2018, 9:14 am

Really, REALLY wish I had grown butternuts this year. I had 12 from 3 plants last year. This season I have 5 Uchiki Kuri from 4 plants. Think I'll do both next year.
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Post by FloBear on 25th August 2018, 1:53 pm

Must admit I'm not keen on any squash except butternut, so far. Have eaten flat ones and stringy ones among others, and found nothing I liked.
My first two butternuts seem to be almost the right colour now but I'm wary about picking one in case they need to ripen some more. I think they need a long ripening period, but not sure if they'll carry on ripening after picking.
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Post by frankbeswick on 25th August 2018, 11:24 pm

I was at the Poynton Show today representing the National Vegetable Society, a marvellous experience; but yesterday I harvested plums in abundance and am sharing them with family members.
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Post by freebird on 26th August 2018, 9:25 am

Leave them on the plant as long as you can, FloBear. When you do cut them, cut either side of the stalk to leave a T-shaped piece, which apparently helps stop fungus getting into the squash. Last year, after I cut mine, I left them in the shed window while the weather was still warm enough, to continue curing the skins, then moved them to my studio which is kept frost-free. Inspect them every couple of weeks, and if any are starting to go soft around the stalk end, use immediately - you can cut the soft bit out if it hasn't gone too far.
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Post by Ploshkin on 26th August 2018, 10:07 pm

As Freebird says - don't pick too soon. They can look the right colour but be tasteless. I generally leave mine on the vines until the leaves die down. I used my last squash from 2017 in March or April this year. It had just started to go soft round the stem.
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Post by FloBear on 27th August 2018, 11:45 am

Thank you, Freebird and Ploshkin. Very helpful for a squash novice. The advice online varies quite a bit.
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Post by Chilli-head on 27th August 2018, 8:56 pm

Courgettes.  Of course.  Also carrots and sweetcorn. But also grapes !


C-H Jnr helped me press a pint of juice for an aperitif this evening. But there are loads left, they go right behind the greenhouse - enough for a gallon of wine, I think bigthink
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Post by freebird on 31st August 2018, 4:47 pm

They look gooood CH. Are they dessert grapes?

I have just come in with another five sweetcorn cobs. Some are second cobs from plants already picked. These are also in the freezer now, although I stripped the kernels from the cob this time, to save on freezer space.
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Post by FloBear on 31st August 2018, 5:24 pm

My sweetcorn aren't / isn't quite there yet.

I picked my first nearly-red chilli two days ago. It was completely red today but as it was the size of a cherry, I gave it to Lulu - she loved it. I did check first to make sure it was OK togive chillies to parrots!
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Post by Chilli-head on 31st August 2018, 8:19 pm

The grapes are wine grapes, IIRC Sylvaner and Schuerrebe. So sweet, but pippy. Make nice juice to drink, but I have another plan for most of them...

I thought birds were not sensitive to capsaicin in chillies. A clever dispersal strategy, mammals leave them alone, but birds eat them, spreading the seed further afield.

My sweetcorn is either eaten or in the freezer now. It did well despite the drought. I used a Red Savina chilli to pep up my tacos tonight.

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Post by FloBear on 31st August 2018, 9:06 pm

Meant to say, those grapes look fab, C-H.

You're right about birds not being senstive to capsaicin. I thought that was the case but decided to check!
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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd September 2018, 7:32 am

Interesting about birds / chillies. But, my dog loves a curry and formations how hot it is.
I'm not harvesting anything new in the polytunnel but still have a regular supply of carrots, mange tout, courgettes, tomatoes, pepper and strawberries. Beans are now coming from the garden and I've had a moderate harvest of lovely, unblemished Victoria plums and I've been picking a decent amount of crab apples for mint jelly and chilli jelly (had to buy chillies!)
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Post by FloBear on 2nd September 2018, 12:06 pm

Interesting auto-correct thing there, Ploshkin - I've never had a curry and formations! Can't figure out what it was meant to be.
Nothing new since my last post, tomatoes still reddening - well, orangeing, to be more precise. Most go in the freezer. Will need to find quite a few tomato-based recipes for Autumn and winter.
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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd September 2018, 9:30 pm

No idea where formations came from - I probably said .... no matter how hot it is.
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Post by Dandelion on 2nd September 2018, 9:59 pm

Not much harvesting here - a few Marmande tomatoes left in the garden and more or less the last runner beans (but irritatingly all the beans I missed when we were away for a couple of short breaks which are now hard and lumpy and on the way to providing me with next years beans. Irritating because I didn't actually need that large number of bean seeds!!)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 8th September 2018, 9:10 pm

I picked my first butternut squash today, it had developed a crack with the rain following such a dry summer. It probably won't keep long, so I might cook it Indian style with dahl.

Some good carrots too, enough for a batch of soup. And of course courgettes. There are always courgettes.
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