Monday, November 28, 2011

Chile Harvest 2011

Last night was the first freeze of the season.  So, yesterday I spent several hours picking the last of the fruit out of the garden.  Root vegetables are not as susceptible as the fruits, so I still have some time before I have to harvest them.  But the fruits will get frost damaged, so I picked the plants clean, taking ripe as well as immature fruit.
This, if anything, is Christmas to me.  The bountiful abundance of red and green chiles at the end of the harvest time, right before the fist freeze.  Coincidentally, I am also hanging up Christmas lights today.  See the connection there?  Red and green lights?  Red and green chiles handing off of Chile plants?  I don't know if there is an actual connection there, but it sure seems apparent to me...
My Habanero Chiles were planted in a shady spot this year, so there are relatively few ripe Habaneros.  The green ones will sit around a while, until they turn orange, and then get dehydrated for use as a spice.  I rarely use fresh Habaneros cooking, they is just too hot.

The red Cayenne Chiles will get washed, and go directly into the dehydrator.  Cayenne Chile is probably my favorite spice.  Again the green ones will have to sit around a while to mature, and turn red.  They will turn in a week or so, and then get dehydrated.

The Jalapeno plants didn't do very well this year, and I don't know why.  I only had a few that actually ripened, and most were very small.  These green Jalapenos will get pickled.  They are a constant table side condiment at my house.  Nachos anyone?

The Anaheim Chiles usually get used like fresh vegetables, although can be dehydrated and used as a spice as well.  They have a lower heat level, but more of that green Chile chlorophyll taste, so they go good in dishes that need some green chile, like Pepper Steak, or chile Rellanos.  The red Anaheim Chiles usually get dehydrated and ground to become what is commonly know as Chile Powder, which is the base of Chili, and Enchilada sauce.

Then there are the Tomatoes, my poor, pitiful Tomato harvest this year.  I have no explanation for why my Tomato harvest was so pitiful this year.  One thing is reduced light, I have an Live Oak Tree which has been slowly usurping the light space in the back yard over the past decade.  My garden hardly gets any afternoon sun anymore.  I only had a few Roma tomatoes, and Better Bush Tomatoes, and they are all green.  They will have to sit a while and ripen.
In this little animation you can see how I load the dehydrator.  The chiles go through a wash, and immediately into the dehydrator.  It will take 8 to 12 hours to dehydrate them, and then they are preserved for the long haul.  I have chiles that are 5 years old, still perfectly preserved.
Then there are the trays of chiles that need to continue to ripen before we put them in the dehydrator.  As these get ripe they will get a wash, and then take a ride in the dehydrator.

In addition to all the harvesting I also pulled out all the Christmas stuff, and got the house into Christmas mode.  It usually takes a full day to get all of that done.  So, altogether, it was a fruitful Sunday, lol, get it?  Happy Jala'days!  LOL!  Chile-mas...


  1. Wow,what a colorful arrangement! This is a wonderful example to all that we should be trying to grow our own food for purpose of having superior food and helping the Earth. With the attempts by the big corporations to spread the genetically modified food around the entire planet and to monopolize the food industry ( they are buying all the health food stores ) it is not a little thing to be able to have what we know is good food. Few people know the Japan Quake was really a nuclear bomb that triggered the quake because Japan would not yield to the GM food program, so they punished Japan. The nuclear reactors they claim melted down is a lie as they were shut off at the time. rh

  2. Theory why the tomatoes did not do well; If your a smoker and tried Anastassia's technique of imprinting DNA, maybe the residual nicotine poisoned the tomato's? This year suggest 3 groups, 1) do as you have all others 2) as you did last year and 3) imprint your DNA as last year except this time don't smoke for 2 weeks and try to cleanse your metabolism enough to not poison the seeds with trace amounts of nicotine. It will be interesting to see how the seeds respond. You could try a 4th control group with the Natural cigarettes and no cleansing to see if the Natural cigs respond as the artificial or heavily chemically treated cigs/ rh

  3. The Tomato plants were pre-sprouted seedlings from the Farmer's Market. The reason they did not produce well is the Oak Tree that is usurping the light space. Tomatoes need the maximum amount of light to produce fruit, which they do not have due to the Oak Tree...