Earlier this year, I asked for help identifying a fruit tree in my yard.  After some group debate we settled on it being an ornamental cherry tree.  During my husband’s recuperation time, his father who does landscaping came to mow our yard and my husband and his father decided the fruit was too big to be cherries.  As a matter of fact, they looked like small plums.  So they picked a few and ate them…  The tree is a cherry plum tree and the fruit is scrumptious, just FYI.

I have spent a large amount of my “down” time canning salsa this year.  I found a recipe I love for fire roasted salsa and I can even fire roast habaneroes if I want a slightly hotter version of it.  I know because I canned a couple pints of the fire roasted habaneroes version.

I have also canned a half pint of hatch chilies that I will be recanning in a different mixture.  After I canned the half pint, I found a recipe that said they could be candied like jalapenos.  So I’m going to try it.  I have a few more red hatches on the plant that need to be canned anyway…

Yep, I said red.  If you live in the southwest you probably just did an eye roll and called me a yankee in your head.  When I was in my very late teens, I worked with a Brazilian epidemiologist.  He liked hot food just like me.  One day while we were working his wife brought in a dish for me to try.  It was amazing and she said this to me “I will never understand why Americans insist on eating their peppers green.”  Turns out she grew her own hot peppers simply because ripe peppers, even jalapenos have more flavor.

They are sweeter and spicier.  Which is why I took to growing my own peppers nearly two decades ago.  You can’t buy a red jalapeno in a store in the US.  They just don’t exist.  But they are sweeter and spicier.  I found the same to be true of the hatch (Anaheim pepper).  It was good roasted while green, but once ripe, it is even better.  I decided to can some of them for foods like chili this winter because ripe they are a sweet mild hot pepper that will add a touch of depth to chili.

It’s a good thing I like hot peppers because while my jalapeno plant has done okay this year, my habanero is the stellar producer.  In July I was getting ripe habaneros.  I currently have 7 ripe ones and about 50 that are still growing.  I have a dozen jalapenos.  And until this point, I’ve only had four total.  I am blaming the weather.  In June I had blooms on all my pepper plants, but a thunderstorm knocked most of them off.  Normally, Missouri summers do great growing peppers, this year the full sun plants (which means they like at least 6 full hours of sunlight a day) have suffered from some burning.  I’ve never seen a pepper plant burn in the sun.

Shortly after my husband’s shoulder surgery I moved them from the deck where they were getting their six full hours of sunlight a day and then some, to the patio, where they got more shade.  Once the move happened, they took off.  They have gotten taller and I have lots of blooms waiting to become peppers, even on my ghost pepper plant which is good because I was beginning to think it wasn’t going to produce after the blooms all fell off in June due to a storm.

And I have been plotting my garden for next year out in my head.  It will be a container garden, I worry the dogs will tear up a garden within the fence of the backyard and I worry a neighbor dog that roams free practically all the time will use the garden area as a toilet space if I put it outside the fence.  I live very close to three farm stores so I have been pricing water troughs and was told by one of the stores that the plain ones that aren’t heated go on sale for up to 70% off during the winter.  I priced the actually water trough planters and good grief.  The actual water troughs are far less expensive which is always good.

There’s an accounting of everything I have worked on when I haven’t been busy writing.

2 thoughts on “Vegetation

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