This year I just didn’t have the freezer room to blanch and freeze the zuch harvest and didn’t have the opportunity to dry them in a food dryer. So, how to preserve them? i decided to shread and freeze the over-grown zuchs. I simply wash the over-sized zucchini and shread the outer meat section, discarding the pithy-seedy middle, as shown below. I freeze the shreads in sandwich zipper bags to be used in zucchini bread, pancakes and what ever else we decide to put them in.
The peppers were planted late, also, but they are producing fairly. I learned that I can plant my peppers twice as dense in a raised bed next spring. I had never planted them is a 5′ x 16′ raised bed before, so I wanted to leave them plenty of room to expand. Lesson learned: they don’t need the room that I left them. I had planted 3 to 4 plants across the 5′ length, only about 10 rows along the 16′ length. Next spring I plan to start twice as much pepper seeds – that means 144 plants instead of 72 seedlings.
The large red peppers in the center top are Cubanelle peppers, a very nice sweet pepper. The orange peppers in the top right are Tequila Sunrise, a mildly hot pepper. The long red peppers under the Tequilas are Jimmy heirlooms, a nice sweet, thin skinned pepper. Under them are Cayenne hot peppers. To the left of the small cayenne are a red and a green heirloom jalapeno pepper. The seeds are only viable from the red, mature jalapeno. Under and next to them are more cayenne peppers, including 1 green one. In the bottom left corner is another Tequila Sunrise. The yellow/green peppers on the lower left side are Sweet Banana peppers – heirlooms. Above them on the left are red Chili peppers. I originally got these seeds from a dried chili pepper at Kroger. Finally, the orange pepper on the upper left corner is a Golden Marconi, a sweet pepper. My Golden Marconi peppers did not grow as large as normally this year. I am hoping that the seeds are still genetically good and that the smaller size was due to new, not very fertile soil. I will plant these seeds next year and if the peppers do not grow to their usual larger size, I may have to purchase new heirloom seeds.
Next year I will not be growing 2 varieties of peppers that I had previously grown for years: Brown Bell and Pimento peppers. This year, they were stunted and the peppers that grew to somewhat maturity were afflicted with what appears to be anthracnose. I tossed these peppers and plants in the burn pile – they will NOT be composted so as to not spread what ever it is that is afflicting the peppers.
With the move this past spring, as previously noted, all of my garden was planted at least a month late, including some winter squash.
The top left is one of only 2 Seminole Pumpkins that I harvested. They grew wonderfully the last growing season of my old home. I purchased new heirloom Seminole Pumpkin seed from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange this fall. I like them. They are a nice single serving size squash with a nice long stem. Oh, Next spring. . . Can’t hardly wait . . . . . .
The butternut standing up in the top right is one of about 3 hybrid butternuts that I planted. Now, this fall, they are doing better – but it is too late – I am ripping out all of the squash and cukes and preparing to compost the beds and get my fall crops in. More on that later. The little squash laying down is one of about 3 Waltham butternut heirloom squashes that matured. Not a very good harvest. I usually get bushels of the little Walthams. You have to be sure to get your crops planted in the right time frame.
I make major seed purchases every 2 or 3 years, in the Fall. This year is it.
I made orders from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and Twilley Seeds – I am a repeat customer for both of those sellers. I also made orders from Mountain Valley Seed – my first time to order from them. I actually made a couple of orders from them this month. In the past, I have been a regular customer of rareseeds.com and victory seeds, but not this year. Mountain Valley is a wholesaler and some seeds are so much cheaper – seeds that I sow in abundance such as carrots, spinach, beets, kale, lettuce, cabbage and broccoli. I wish I had checked them out before. Incredible deal of bulk seeds – when you buy 4 ounces at a time – that is a LOT of seed!! To keep my seeds going for years I keep them in our extra refrigerator.