Wednesday, 8 October 2014

First Harvest

Autumn is here and I'm beginning to enjoy the (meagre) fruits of this year's labour. Due to a late start I've not had the huge crops I hoped for but there's certainly enough chillies to produce some of the sauces I've got planned.

Every once in a while you can get complacent with chillies, such was the case with a bowl of Padrons the other evening. These tangy green chillies were grown by my mother and she presented me with a carrier bag full of them to enjoy.  Fried in olive oil and scattered liberally with salt, these Northern Spanish chillies make a delicious Tapas.  However, about 10% of these usually sweet chillies are hot, and these particular ones, being a little older and larger than usually picked, packed a fearsome punch. Nose streaming and mouth burning I was forced to quench the fire with a cold beer (the hardship!) and proceed with caution through the rest of the bowl.

Padrons - handle with caution.
This year's chilli challenge was a success with an number of impressive looking Joe's Long Cayennes being entered for the title of longest chilli. After much deliberation by the judging panel (i.e. holding up the chillies for comparison) the winners were announced as Dave and Annie, who took home the hamper stuffed with chilli goodies (and a couple of bottles of wine as well).

Below are growing photos from the entries.


Meanwhile the chillies in the greenhouse have been slowly ripening, I've had to employ the old trick of ripe banana skins to try and speed things along. It seems to have had some success and I managed a few small harvests before the weather broke and the rain set in.

7 Pots ripening in the greenhouse
Scotch Bonnet Big Sun
An early harvest from the greenhouse - Clockwise from top left; Sweet Banana, Cayenne, Superchilli, Cheyenne.
Clockwise from top left; 7 Pot Hab, Black Tongued Scorpion, Cayenne, Peach Hab, Scotch Bonnet Big Sun, RedScotch Bonnet, Nepalese Snakebite.
Supersized pods - Yellow 7 Pot Habs and Peach Habs.
Now the weather has changed I've begun the task of winterising the greenhouse.  I'm slowly covering all the glass with bubblewrap and, time and budget allowing, I'm hoping to employ some more innovative methods of keeping the greenhouse frost-free this winter. More to follow soon.