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THE GROWING CHALLENGE: I Picked A Pepper In December!

December Pepper!

I picked this pepper from our fire escape garden just before the snows hit. I left it to ripen on the vine, just to see what would happen. It turned out to be a strikingly beautiful, fragrant, and delicious orange pepper!

Tomatoes and Herbs In First Snow

Our tomatoes produced right up to the first snow. Our geraniums and nasturtiums lasted until then as well. Most of our herbs have survived the snows: sage, rosemary, parsley, thyme, catnip, and oregano.

Pepper Overwintering Indoors

And… surprise! I brought in the pepper plant, to see if I could overwinter it indoors. So far, it has survived the shock of coming into a warmer, drier, and darker place. I wouldn’t say it is as happy as it was outside, but it is still alive. We shall see!

What’s The Growing Challenge?

The Growing Challenge

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Ok, Go For It!

Do share – how is your garden?! Are Northerners finding much to harvest? And if not, are you finding locally-sourced foods at your markets, deliveries, and/or groceries?

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15 comments to THE GROWING CHALLENGE: I Picked A Pepper In December!

  • debra

    here, along the texas gulf coast, we’ve had a nice growing season. this year we’ve had fresh bell peppers, a variety of herbs and broccoli plucked from what used to be the front yard. the tomatoes have fruited far beyond my imagination. i was able to put up several pints of pickled green tomatoes and freeze gallons of green tomato and ham soup. the okra we planted early in the spring is still producing on what seems to be a daily basis. i’ve ordered my seeds for the spring and can barely wait to get started. we’ve had such mild weather that the neighbor’s loquat tree is already blooming so we should be knee deep in loquat jelly in just a few months. it’s funny, i never realized how many good things could come from my own little yard

  • Here in Michigan I’m done harvesting outdoors for awhile. We’re using our canned fruit almost every day for eating and baking. I can see my garden again as we had a big thaw and I’m hoping my garlic is doing okay under all the mulch. This is my first year growing garlic thanks to you & Farm mom so I’m a little nervous about it! :)

  • Our garden is dead, dead, dead. Snow covers everything. I’m getting ready to start some herbs indoors, but I’ve always failed at that. Instead of growing more lettuce this year indoors, I’m pondering finding some lemongrass for my tea.

    Our rabbit coop is built and housed on our raised beds and our fertilizer machine is pooping away!

    I’m looking forward to the warmth of next year and I’m already thumbing through seed catalogues. I definitely know we’re going to try spaghetti squash next year. :)

  • We’re in Pleasant Hill, Oregon. Right now we have elephant garlic, kale, cabbage, lettuce, onions, leeks, sunchokes, celery, beets, chard, broccoli. The chard and lettuce took the hard freeze personally, but everything else looks good. Rhubarb is asleep under the mulch. I have been sprigging filberts and pussy willows to make a hedge.

    Can one sprig (plant pruned suckers of) plums?

  • It’s HUGE! I’m starting to love winters (ok, only winters in the south), but it’s amazing how much can grow and thrive when the weather is cold and dreary. It gives a new wonderful outlook on life.

    Hope your little pepper plants makes it!

  • Jill S

    That is a beautiful pepper, Melinda.

  • I picked two green peppers last week, and they’re both turning yellow now! My eggplant continued to produce until it froze (I forgot to throw a sheet over that one, or I would have saved it, I think!) Also picked two dozen green tomatoes before those plants froze, but I haven’t done anything with them yet. I need a good salsa recipe, I think.

    I buried my winter greens, brocolli, carrots, etc. in straw mulch to get through the cold nights. I’m just trying to figure this out as I go. I don’t know if I’m going to really get broccoli this late in the season, but I gave it a shot, planting seeds indoors when it was still 100 degrees out in September.

    It’s actually time to plant tomato seeds again in my flats, so I can set them out around Valentine’s Day.

  • Our pepper bushes are full but we’re pulling out the tomatoes. We’ve just planted lettuces and chard and potatoes will be planted next week. Cucumbers are starting to fruit and the pineapple is growing bigger. We still eat from our backyard everyday and we’re getting about 8 eggs a day (from 10 chickens) even in this heat.

    Peppers are remarkable strong. I bet you’ll keep that one going through your winter. We have a couple of bushes here that are three years old. They die back a bit in winter, or we prune them back, and they come to life again every spring.

    I hope you and Matt and well now and getting ready for the new year. I send you both my best wishes for a bright 2009.

  • I pulled some carrots the other day (in Connecticut) and I was just as excited as you are about your pepper!

  • It looks like one of those fake ones they use for photo shoots. Sounds like it tasted as good as it looks. I’m sure it tastes better than anything you could buy from a store.

    I’m still looking forward to my peppers ripening. And now my little peppers have a lot to live up to. Maybe I’ll print out the picture and paste it where my peppers can see it. Maybe it will inspire them to greatness as well.

  • I’ve got a whole new batch of radishes coming along. I also planted lettuce and beets, but it turns out that the mulch I bought turns into a solid mass when rained upon, so most of the seeds didn’t sprout.

  • Your pepper is a thing of beauty. All my snow has melted away, but it won’t be until Thursday until I can check my cold frame. I’m hoping I still have a bit of spinach. Looks like the cole crops did okay and will come back from the cold weather. The herbs on the porch are looking pretty good.

    Before everything froze I picked a pound of rhubarb. Yum! Also my sweet potato cuttings are doing great. I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to use the cuttings for a new batch.

  • [...] getting larger. Not nearly as nice as this one from this blogger though. Day 79 in the life of a pepper [...]

  • That pepper looks beautiful. We had a hard freeze in November, which cashed all of my patio plants. I am so jealous!

  • debra, Sounds wonderful! I must say I do miss the days in California when we had an easier time growing in the winter. I am not sure I even know what loquats taste like, and I’ve certainly never had loquat jelly – how interesting!!

    Jena, : ) I had a great time growing garlic last year. It seemed to be remarkably forgiving, considering that we planted and then transplanted it only to basically ignore it. And boy was it tasty!! Crossing my fingers that yours will be just as lovely.

    Jen, Bummer! I understand, though. The snow and rains definitely did in a lot of our plants. Lemongrass has been very easy for me to grow, and has survived frosts and snows outdoors even. How cool that you have your rabbit tractor up and running! : )

    risa b, Wow – that sounds fabulous – I’m so jealous of your garden. Due to extenuating circumstances (total backyard construction at my mom’s), we were unable to plant anything in the fall. I live vicariously! I don’t think suckers of plum trees will flower & bear fruit, but I’m not sure. Usually they’re grafted onto a rootstock that is better for your area, too… but I’ll admit I don’t know a whole lot about fruit trees yet. …

    Jill S, Thanks! How’s the growing weather in Florida?

    Amanda, LOL – I have a good salsa recipe on my new Recipes page. : ) Ooh, goodness, it is almost time to plant seeds! Yikes!!

    rhonda jean, Thank you for your new years wishes! What a lovely garden you have – I can’t wait for summer again, to see all the lovely goodies fruiting! Though pineapple – I am jealous – we can’t grow those this far north.

    Abbie, Congratulations! Mmmm, fresh home grown carrots! The frost just sweetens them, eh?

    TomB, : ) I now have an image of the little peppers aspiring to the icon in the photo, and I love it!! Hilarious.

    Teacher A, Oooh, I’m sorry. Yikes. What kind of mulch was it??!

    Deb G, Thank you! I hope all is well in the cold frame! I’m excited to hear about it. Yum – wow, your rhubarb lasted late in the season. Impressive!

    Red Icculus, : ( I’m sorry to hear it. There are some season extension ideas here, if you have the chance next year. In the meantime, we’ll all dream of spring!!

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