Frame Harirak via UnSplash
This week’s tour around the garden features Scarlett Runner beans, Pimentos and ends with a favourite Red Pepper Jelly recipe and some health benefits of red peppers.
Greetings fellow gardeners,
As I wandered about my garden this morning, I could feel the winter waiting to come in. There never seems to be enough of a growing season. The vines are starting to look stressed, and the zucchinis are no longer getting too big. The rhubarb is actually looking tasty, so I might pick that before I tuck it in for the winter.
Scarlett Runner Beans
The scarlet runner beans that were planted in late August are a treat. The bright red flowers are a lovely contrast to my white Oscar Peterson rose and now there are beans! I enjoy scarlet runner beans if they are picked early. When picked early they are sweet and tender and a treat for dinner, but they do get tougher as they age. I have decided to let some age so that I can collect seeds for next year’s crop. The nasturtiums I planted underneath the climbing beans are still there, but one small frost and that will end them.
Around the back behind the gazebo where the too-many cats hang out the peppers are ready for harvest. I am so pleased with this year’s pimento peppers and will be making red pepper jelly with them soon. I included the recipe at the end.
This is my best year for all of my peppers. I think that starting them early was a definite factor as they were well established before they went out. They were all in pots, so I was able to monitor how much water they were getting, and I was able to keep an eye out for pests. I am hoping to collect my own pimento pepper seeds, but I might pick up an extra package just in case. I do worry that there might be some cross pollination. The jalapenos are also ready, and I have used them to add zip to many things. Overall a successful pepper year, which is encouraging me to try more.
Red Pepper Jelly Recipe
- 2 cups coarsely chopped, seeded red bell pepper
- (1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped – optional)
- 1½ cups cider vinegar
- 4 to 6 cups sugar
- dried and crushed chili flakes according to your taste
- 1 pouch liquid pectin
Prepare canner, jars, and lids:
1 – In a large, deep stainless-steel saucepan, combine peppers, vinegar, sugar, and crushed chiles. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly for 10 minutes. Stir in pectin and boil hard, stirring constantly for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and quickly skim off any thick foam.
2 – Quickly pour hot jelly into hot jars, leaving ¼” headspace. Wipe rims of jars to ensure they are clean. Center lid on jar and screw band on until fingertip tight (don’t over-tighten).
3 – Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water for a 10-minute hot water bath
I love this jelly at Christmas get-togethers on crackers with cream cheese.
Health Benefits of Red Peppers
- Red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision.
- They contain more than 200 percent of your daily vitamin C intake.
- Red peppers are a great source of vitamin B6 and folate.
- They are packed with antioxidants. As a specific example, lycopene helps prevent many cancers including prostate and lung.
- Red bell peppers have a mild thermogenic action that increases our metabolism.
Follow this link for more details on the health benefits of red peppers.
This time of year can sometimes be a little sad. Your tender annuals are fading fast, and you can see all the work that should be done on the perennial beds. This is the time of year when those delightful little icicle pansies are for sale. I always buy a flat in the spring to bring in cheery colour and another few in the fall to keep the colour going. A few twinkly Halloween lights are helpful as well. Icicle pansies will keep blooming well into several frosts.
There are many apples on the ground that should be dealt with as well as that huge stand of Jerusalem artichokes. I guess I have my work cut out for me. Enjoy your week. Judith.
Contact Judith through her Website https://www.lapisdragonarts.com/. Find more weekly Veggie Bites experiences on the Veggie Bites page.