I’ve been so inundated with peppers, I haven’t sat down to do a garden update in awhile. Since I currently have nothing but peppers in the ground, it’s mostly going to be pictures. My early season peppers are exploding with fruit, and the experimental late season peppers I’m doing — probably only possible in a post-climate catastrophe Texas or Florida — are growing well.
They’re an experiment because peppers usually are dying out as the fall comes on, but over the last couple years our falls and winters have gotten warmer, with just a few days cold enough to kill plants before January. Which means there’s technically a window in which one could grow peppers. So I’m giving it a try. They went in in September, like ordinary Fall transplants. As you’ll see, some are already flowering.
All in all, the garden is looking great and I have more peppers than I know what to do with. I’ll keep making sauce and I guess freezing some for later. I suppose in the spring I’ll pull some of these and replace them with other crops.
So I’m taking a risk getting them out this late. If, like last year, we get a hard freeze at the end of October, I could lose the whole crop. but life is risk and an early Texas freeze is rare and I’ll tent a quilt over them if I need to.
This is 24 peppers and the chart below will tell you what they are. I’ll transplant another 24 into the bed next to it, 18 in my other front yard bed, and about 12 in the back yard. If I have leftovers I’ll either put them in grow bags, give them away, or try to finish them inside under a grow light.
I decanted Nick’s ferment this afternoon and added some pure tomato juice, salt, and vinegar. I wanted to test using juice to help with consistency and it works pretty well. The resulting sauce is funky and fiery on the back end mostly.
I thought I’d try a seasoned sauerkraut. So I’ve added chipotle chili powder to the cabbage, salt, garden peppers, and garlic. Also pictured, the garlic and dill kraut is happily generating gas in its bag.
I decanted the Pequin/Serrano ferment into a blend of tomatillos, garlic, and white wine vinegar. The result is bright and citrusy, with a complex pepper flavor, and heat across the mid-tongue and cheek that grows before subsiding to a warm glow. It’s one of my favorites, so far.
And with it done and in the refrigerator, I began a fairly simple garlic and dill kraut, trying out the vacuum bag method with kraut for the first time. My wife wanted a batch that wasn’t filled with peppers, so this was for her.
My nephew Nick liked the look of the last batch of hot sauce and asked for some more. Because I make sauce from my garden peppers, I usually make it from whatever is putting out fruit. Right now that’s the unstoppable fruit machine, the pequin, along with the steady cayenne, some red jalapenos and mexibelles, and a few tabasco.
The pequin/serrano sauce is just about ready. I’m going to add tomatillos when groceries come in tomorrow.