Pickled Peppers

The jalapeño crop is peaking but not many takers this time around. Funny – some years I can’t grow enough to satisfy the demand; some years there are plenty of peppers but not many takers. So we decided to pickle a few jars this year. To calibrate you, about 3 pounds of peppers makes 6-7 16oz (1 cup) jars of finished product. The last time we did this I wasn’t very careful handling the peppers and paid the price with skin burns and watery eyes. This time I wore latex gloves and almost got thru unscathed. What I didn’t realize was that I did prick through the gloves in a couple of places and in a couple of hours my hands felt like they had been stuck in a fire. I tried soaking my hand in ice water which helped a little. Then I remembered the aloe plant and wondered whether that would work for chemical (pepper) burns. It does. Instant relief. We use aloe a couple times a year but that’s absolutely worth having it around.

Haven’t reported on the progress of the pineapples in a while. The first 3 that I planted in a large container on the front deck are thriving-all new foliage and probably 3x the size a month ago. No signs of any fruit yet but I’m gaining confidence that the experiment will be a success. The 6 that I planted directly in the garden a few weeks back seem to be holding their own; no new growth, but no signs of dying either which, I think, means they’re doing ok. If they’re not going to make it, they seem to crash quickly.

The other (hopefully) success story is that the viburnum bushes Simon and I had so severely trimmed are starting to put out buds. I’d take a picture but the buds are really too small, just little green spots on the trunks now. The buds are wide spread and each of the trunks is showing the signs.

The garden is winding down rapidly now with the summer heat. Peppers and eggplant are about the only thing thriving. We’ll probably get enough tomatoes to make another one or two batches of sauce but the plants are looking worn out. A few straggler cuc’s and zucchini making a try of it but they’re on their last legs. Beans are done. In another couple of weeks I’ll start seeds (indoors) for the next round of peppers and tomatoes. The compost pile is welcoming all the new inputs from the garden.

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