The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Sweet peppery and potatoey harvest

Peppers and beans

A cool August slowed down a lot of heat-lovers, like the sweet peppers shown above. But they're starting to roll in now, better late than never! Last year, I chopped our sweet peppers Sweet potatoes and tomatoesinto small pieces and froze them in ziplock bags, which made for easy seasoning-dashes in winter dishes. I'm glad to be able to repeat the preservation trick this year. One pint down, as many as we can fit in before the frost still to go!

I'm also starting to harvest our sweet potatoes so they'll have plenty of time to cure before cold weather hits. I'd planned to only dig a few hills per day, figuring their vines would be enjoyed by the goats. But our spoiled ladies turned up their noses even after I told them how much deer adore sweet-potato tops. I guess I'll go ahead and harvest the rest of the planting today before whoever's been nibbling on the tubers does much more damage.

Fall harvest

Meanwhile, our porch dining table has been halfway taken over by my seed-saving station. Since I'm a far-too-speedy eater, I like having a stockpile of beans to shell or hazelnuts to husk to keep my hands busy while Mark finishes his meals at a more normal pace. Last week, I was shelling beans for planting from our Masai bushes, and this week I harvested another half gallon or so of scarlet runner bean pods from our shade vines, along with the last of the year's mung bean pods, both for eating. The field corn is being husked too since I learned the hard way that, even on drying racks, corn in the husk will mold instead of dry in our humid climate.

I didn't bother to take photos, but I also harvested another twenty pounds or so of butternuts, bringing our total 2015 yield up to about 225 pounds. Add in a batch of mozzarella plus a pot of soup over the weekend and it's been a pretty productive week already. But we've still got basil and okra and green beans and sweet corn to preserve in the days to come.

Nearly fledged chicks

Since I ended last week's harvest update with a Song Sparrow photo, I thought I'd snap a shot this week too. What a difference eight days make! I have a feeling these chickies will have left the nest and learned to fly before I regale you with a harvest post once again.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Anna, This fall I have developed a taste for homemade pesto! I put about 2 cups packed, of basil in the food processor. Add about 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons pine nuts or almonds or other nuts you have, 3 cloves garlic, and 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese. Process until fairly smooth, adding salt and more oil to suit. Wonderful over sliced tomatoes.

I also take zucchini, Peal with a vegetable peeler, rotating as you go along. Then cut the strips into 1" pieces and add pesto.

Comment by Sheila Wed Sep 9 22:53:19 2015

Well, it sure sounds like harvest time at your place! I planted a couple of bushes of those mini sweet pepprs. Yellow, orange, and red, and we just love em. I love jist loooking at the colors in a stir fry. We are freezing ours also. At least, the ones that actually make it into the house. They are a great snack while working in the garden!

Comment by Deb Thu Sep 10 18:38:15 2015

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