Saturday, September 25, 2010

In The Garden

This year we've had 92 days above 90°F (32°C) crushing the old record for really hot summer days, which have now dragged on into the fall. Today's forecast calls for a high of 95°F (35°C). The hot weather has been great for some plants in my vegetable garden but not so good for others. Overall, so far, it has been a successful year and I've been able to eat lots of home grown organic produce. I've had fresh tomatoes, hot peppers (habanero, jalapeno, cayenne and banana peppers), sweet peppers (bell and banana peppers), three varieties of eggplant, zucchini, okra and an assortment of fresh herbs.

The hot weather seems to have been especially good for the hot pepper plants. In past years I've planted as many as four habanero pepper plants which produced more than I could eat. I give any excess produce to friends and neighbors but everyone is afraid of the habaneros. They think they are just too hot. This year I grew just one plant but it turned into a huge habanero bush, the largest I have ever seen, and I am getting as many habaneros as I ever did in the past. Fortunately I've learned how to control the heat. For example, I had brunch with my housemate and cooked omelets and potatoes. In my veggie omelet I diced up half a small habanero without the seeds. That added just a little bit of a kick and a really nice flavor. I'm using habaneros in just about everything you can imagine this year, cooking with them more than ever before, and really enjoying the results. I also made my own habanero salsa for the first time this year and it came out really good.

In general I've had plenty of fresh veggies constantly since late June. (OK, tomatoes and peppers are fruits but you know what I mean.) Around here we sometimes get well into November without a freeze even in a normal year so I hope to get another couple of months of production out of the garden. However serious global warming may be and however much Americans seem intent on denying it or ignoring it, at least this year's garden is one small short term benefit.

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