Week in Pictures

Our first foray into hot sauce! With a killer crop of serranos from our two 3-4′ bushes, and a not-too-shabby bunch of jalapenos and habaneros from their littler plants, we were able to harvest well over two pounds for this round and, um, well we definitely have hot sauce a’plenty. Rather than get all complex, I used Bon Appetit’s Master Hot Sauce recipe. The best part? I just chopped off the stems and tossed ’em in the food processor – otherwise there was no physical contact with these (if you’ve ever rubbed your eye or tried to take your contacts out after handling these, well…you’re more careful in the future…and you always keep some milk or yogurt around for handwashing afterwards if you’re not wearing gloves)! The hot sauce turned out SO delish, smoky and spicy with citrus notes thanks to the habanero. Recipe note: once we added the vinegar, we let the mix sit for the full 7 days in our pantry before blending it and sieve-ing it. Worth the wait!

And after one helluva hot summer, the hard work in keeping our tomatoes protected from the triple digits, staying super consistent with watering, and two feeds with epsom salts, we have been rewarded! This is a snapshot from our first bed (we have 3 beds with 18 plants altogether, all shockingly done from seed successfully for the first time after past years have been less fruitful with my basement grow light setup!). Romas – oh baby…and did I mention I’ve already canned 8 quarts or so of marinara? Happy sigh to say the very least!! (Gardener’s Note: As we near the end of the season, I do find that pruning really helps get them ripened much faster, which is why they look so “exposed” here).

Loving the first fruiting of our beautyberry bush!! It’s only about 2 1/2 feet tall but should at least double in size, standing out nicely against the new fence on the north side. Beyond water, they are super low maintenance and the (inedible) berries stay on until winter which will be SO nice!

And oh-so-happily, a good percentage of our sunflowers are still going strong! We have had a gorgeous start to fall, with temps mostly in the low 70s (my favorite!), and one thing I learned this year is that if you keep snipping the “used up” ones, the little buds will continue to come! We planted a variety of sunflowers this year – colors, sizes, heights – and can’t get enough 🙂

And of course, on the days where the most I can do is lie on the sofa with a book? Daydream. Hope that in less than a month from now there will be what the forums call a BFP (big fat positive). (image source)

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