Pepper Progress

The one crop in my garden that I have been the most nervous about this year has been the Romainian, Szegedi, and White Cloud peppers.

Last year I had great success with my jalapeno peppers, but in the past bell peppers have never fared well in my garden. Back in March I ordered seeds for the peppers I usually buy from a local farm and then planted them in early April. Nearly every seed sprouted and at the end of May I transplanted them into the garden.

At first the plants seemed to just stall and for several weeks absolutely no new growth was to be found. Then, finally in early July the plants took off.

Here is what the plants looked like July 8 —

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One week later on the 15th they looked like this —

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And today they look like this —

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I have picked 9 peppers so far and plan on picking at least five tonight.

I planted these peppers for pickling, but Hubby is enjoying them too much right out of the garden to even think about depriving him of the fresh peppers just yet. I figure I’ve got a month or so of peppers ahead of us, so even if it means picking up a few from the farmer’s market, I’d rather he enjoy them while he can.

Forty plants went into the gardens. My hope is that we’ll pick at least a bushel of peppers which is what I need to pickle enough for a years supply. Nine is a great start with the plants teeming with more, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

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Peter Piper’s Peck of Pickles

Well, it’s not exactly a peck, but I did pick our first pickle from the garden today! Yea!

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It never ceases to amaze me how different a home-grown pickle tastes than a store-bought one. Grace and I fought over who was going to eat it. In the end we split it. Thankfully we are the only two in the house that like them.

As you can see though, there are going to be many, many more pickles in the coming days. What is even better is that only one side of the a-frame is actually filling up. I’m hoping that the delay in the other side will yield us pickles late into the summer.

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The trouble now is going to be restraining myself from eating all the pickles raw. I purposely planted pickles so that I could can them, but they are so GOOD, it is hard to consider tainting that wholesome goodness with vinegar.

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Bell checking out the pickles.

It’s good to know that I can always order a bushel from a local farmer just a few miles up the road, so I think we’ll eat our fill while we can, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.