The time had arrived for the first harvest. Picking the ripe pods will encourage the others to ripen faster and will avoid the risks of the fruit dropping off or rotting on the plant.
I took the opportunity to prune the plants whilst I harvested. The canopy of some of the plants had got so dense that, with the damp weather, some of the plants had developed spots of mould on the flower heads. I cut back these areas to allow more air to move around the plants an let some sunlight reach the unripe fruit.
|Some of the pods from this year's initial harvest, neatly sorted by type.|
|Golden Cayenne - This plant has been fantastic this year with plenty of large, healthy fruit.|
|Scotch Bonnets - the yellow ones are destined for Sunburn sauce.|
|L to R; Orange Magnum Habs, Fruit Burst Hab & Peach Hab|
|Paper Lantern Habanero - all off one plant and there are plenty more still to ripen.|
The thinner, longer varieties were strung onto thread and hung to dry over a radiator. These will be grown to powder for storing and eventually adding to sauces and meals. The varieties with thicker flesh, such as Scotch Bonnets, Habs and the Scorpions were cut in half, packed in bags and frozen for blitzing and using in sauces later in the year.
|L to R; Ring of Fire, Paper Lantern, Superchilli & Lemon Drop, Golden Cayenne and a selection of green chillies.|