What is a Banana Pepper?

Everyone who has come to the farm always asks the same question. “What the heck is that?” as they point to the pictured pepper.

Something we were introduced to down south was the banana pepper. It was hot but not really hot, tasted great pickled and was added to just about any meal. Our favorite was when it was added to a calzone. Had a Mediterranean feel to it.

We decided to try and grow them ourselves as we had luck growing jalapenos in the past. It was a unique item so wasn’t readily available from your standard seed catalog. We found it through a selective tomato seed company and they referred to it as an heirloom pepper. Being a big fan of heirloom tomatoes, we were thrilled to try this pepper.

Sometimes the best things come from a mistake. Something I didn’t look at closely was the style of pepper this banana pepper was. It was a SWEET version of the pepper. Not the hot pepper. We fell in love with it. It was so versatile. We added slices to salads, omelets, pizza, spaghetti sauce, to home fries and stir fried with garlic and onion, and poured over pasta. It’s a new staple for us.

The most difficult thing about banana peppers is knowing when they are ripe. Deciding when the green color is now more yellow can be challenging, and if you get it wrong you end up with a bitter flavor. This pepper starts off green, turns yellow, then orange and eventually red. Although yellow is considered the ripe color you can eat them at any stage. The pepper taste just becomes stronger the redder it gets. Even a little heat starts when it’s red. We pull the peppers when they are the most yellow without turning orange. This pepper also continues to ripen on the shelf so if you want to have an orange pepper you set your yellow pepper out and it will eventually change color.

If you are one of our customers you should try the banana peppers. I guarantee you will like them.

What’s Being Harvested?

Beans

I know you haven’t heard a lot from us lately. That’s because we’ve been very busy! Most of the work is keeping the weeds at bay. We are also carefully managing the water with the alternating hot and bone dry weather to heavy thunderstorms. Lots of extra hand watering one day and then turning off the irrigation the next day.Beets

So, what’s coming up in the garden? We’ve been tasting items out of our test plot before selling to be sure they are good. Some are good enough we aren’t willing to let go of them! Our favorite is beets. We’ll eat our fill before letting them go.

The biggest seller is the beans. At first we were pulling them so fast we couldn’t sell them fast enough, but now we are begging the plants to grow more.Heirloom Lettuce

The lettuce mix  just keeps growing no matter how much we sell. The collards are finally at a good size, although I don’t think they grow very well outside of the south.

 

Collards (2)The snap peas and cucumbers are on a roll now.

Snap PeasCucumber

 

We are finishing harvesting the corn for ourselves. It takes too much space and resources for what little you get. Corn

The heirloom celery is amazing!  It’s thinner than the grocery store celery but the flavor is strong so you don’t need as much. We’ve also been harvesting broccoli, basil, gold squash and zucchini.

Celery

Brocolli (2) Basil

Zuchinni (2) Yellow Squash

Finally, the tomatoes are starting to turn red, the peppers are taking off and the Okra is just starting to get to a size of harvest.

Tomato Green Chilis Okra

There is still a lot more that is growing and we can’t wait to share it with our customers!