Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Batch 2?

Haven't posted anything in a week or two, so I'll have to backtrack in my next post, but for now? The present!

My second set of hot sauce batches (that's right, haven't even talked about the first batch yet), turned out delicious!

These were more of the "mild" variety of peppers; Jamaican yellow, Devils tongue, and some small habs.  These sauces have a lot of flavor, I wonder if too much vinegar though....

Last weeks batch of chocolate habs and chocolate fatalism was quite a it hotter, but that's okay.  It's nice to make a mild batch now and again!

Remembered to use Xanthum gum this time, it made a huge difference in the consistency.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Good Times, Bad Times....

A lot to cover here.  First off, perhaps a sign of good luck?  Below is a bug that I allow to LIVE in my garden.  This is a swallowtail butterfly caterpillar.  It's eating my dill, which is fine, as herbs grow super easily.  Hopefully, he'll turn into a beautiful butterfly!  Now, on with the peppers!

First off, an update on how this stuff is growing.  A few weeks ago, I had but a few super hots and a slew of habanero's/fatalis, but not much changing color.  Suddenly, I have DOZENS of carolina reapers and trinidad scorpions, as well as a ton of Bhuts... but I'll talk more about the bhuts in a minute.  Below are pictures of just a handful of the scorptions and reapers.

I also have finally had some of my Jamaican Hot Yellows start turning color (side note, the day after taking these pictures, they turned the rest of the way yellow)

Here are some pictures of my Fatalis and Hab's.  Looking BEAUTIFUL.  I plan to pick them tomorrow morning and make my first batch of hot sauce this weekend.  If a few more turn colors, I should be able to make two small batches of completely hab and complete fat sauces.  I'm pretty excited, as I love the flavor of yellow fatalis, so I'm super curious what the chocolates will taste like.

First picking!

Now for the bad times:
We've been struck by bad luck and heartache.  Many of my ghosts, and now finally a reaper, have been mauled!  Bored by some demonic creature.  See pic below!

After much research, I believe I've discovered the culprit; it seems to be a corn earworm, which is a close relation to the tomato hornworm.  Just look at the damage they do to the inside of these peppers!  What's killing me is that they've already wiped out almost an entire Bhut Jolokia plant's yield.  I was "okay" with that, kind of, because they weren't eating anything else, but now?!  I've started to find holes in peppers on various plants.  I'm going to try desperately to find a way to destroy them all....

After dissecting, I found this little bugger.  His time in this world shall be short and painful.

That's all for now.  I'll post more pictures when I have them, and perhaps put up a picture of the first sauce if I get time to make it!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Counting the days...

This season, we planted three batches of seeds indoors.
Batch #1 - Feb. 7th
Batch #2 - Feb. 14th
Batch #3 - Feb. 24th
By the time we planted the third batch, all of the second and first batches had started sprouting.

March 14th - planted any remaining seeds.

Late April, began prepping and tilling the garden.

May 3rd, planted!!! Only the largest, and healthiest.  Many of the later batches were not large enough to be moved outside.

Sun., August 2nd, after 176 days, we have the first fully ripened pepper!  Most likely this pepper is from the 2nd batch, making it more like 169 days, but behold!

1 chocolate habanero!