We had an exceptionally hot year this year resulting in far more peppers than we have ever grown before. In preparation for the snow storm we had to harvest all the peppers early since we knew the plants would not survive. The good news is most peppers continue to ripen after they are pulled. This bushel of peppers are called Lipstick peppers. They are a brilliant red when fully ripened and are much sweeter then the standard bell peppers.
These peppers are still edible when they are green. They taste just like a green bell pepper. As the green peppers ripen they can change multiple shades of yellow, orange and red. The longer you wait the more red they become, and the sweeter they are. Keeping them in a cool environment that is warmer than a refrigerator but cooler than standard room temperature will keep their texture longer.
We also grew our personal favorite, sweet banana peppers. They do not ripen off the plant as well as the Lipstick peppers but we successfully managed to save a number of these peppers as well.
The best part of this story is we successfully ate fresh peppers into late October even after a September snow!
It’s September 7th and it’s going to be 90 degrees today. Tonight temperatures are going to drop into the 20s. We are supposed to get 8 inches of snow with 30 mile an hour winds. Such is living on a farm 5280 miles high. Well, closer to 6000.
In preparation we are pulling over all the tunnel covers that are set up. For those that are not set up, like the fall squash patch, including pumpkins, we laid down loose cover fabric over the fruits held down with sand bags. For melons we added an additional layer of actual weed block which should be thick enough for protection.
Sensitive items like peppers and tomatoes will not make it through the storm. We pulled all the peppers, including the ones that aren’t ripe yet. Sweet peppers will continue to ripen indoors. Our special heirloom tomatoes are grown in garden boxes so we brought them inside to our processing room to weather the storm. We covered the short Roma tomatoes with protected fabric, but the large, indeterminant Juliet tomatoes would blow around too much in the wind so we cut them off at the base and hung them upside down from the rafters in our hay loft. Tomatoes also continue to ripen after pulled. Leaving the tomatoes on the plants lengthens their ability to ripen even more.
The last preparation involved pulling as much of the basil as possible to not only dry the leaves, but to also collect seed. Many of the plants had gone to seed so we did not want to lose any to the moisture.
There is no way to cover the Luffa wall so all we can do is wait and see what happens. We’ve read that a slight freeze on Luffa Squash loosens the skin so makes the Luffa easier to harvest.
Now we hunker down and wait for the storm to pass.
See our garden prep work on the farm’s YouTube Channel: