DIGGING DEEPER

The End of the Season Harvest: Tomatoes & Peppers…

The rains have arrived and I’ve had several people ask me about harvesting this time of year. Hopefully you’ve already picked most your red tomatoes! The rain will definitely cause tomatoes to split and they aren’t as flavorful after being rained on either. If you have them under cover, then you might be able to pick for another week or so but wait until the sun comes out again if you can. On the farm we usually try to wait for a dry day to pick green tomatoes as well. It is important pick these before the late blight attacks the fruit, and definitely before the frost comes. We’ll have lots of green tomato recipes in the website next week, but in the meantime try these from the NY Times.

We’re hoping for another week or so of mild weather to keep ripening sweet peppers. The slugs are beginning to attack the fruit so this week we’ll probably harvest everything that is close to the ground. Before the first frost make sure you pull all the rest of the fruit off, wash it, and then you can store them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you’re swimming in peppers this time of year like we are try this recipe for Marinated Red Peppers from Kelly Meyers blog Front Burner on Culinate. I think it works just as well with yellow and green peppers too.

We also grow several varieties of hot peppers and dry extras to give out during the winter share.¬†Usually the cayenne and habeneros start to ripen sometime in September. We’ll check the plants about once a week and bring any fully ripe fruit inside to dry. Before the first frost we’ll pick all the remaining hot peppers that have started to blush with color and bring them inside to dry. Most of them will slowly add more color during the drying process. Fully dry peppers can be stored in airtight containers or frozen.