Not that well overall. I got started in June with picking up various pepper plants, slowly adding herbs and it grew from there. I haven’t added anything in over a month as our growing season is starting to come to a close.
The parsley oregano and basil have all taken off wonderfully! The green onions looked pretty sad for a while but are growing well and have been used in a recent soup. You can’t see the thyme because the oregano totally took over and the thyme failed. The rosemary is basically dead as well.
I have rosemary out front, and it is doing well. More sun and a better draining pot. I think the one in the back was too wet. I have heard thyme has the same issue, which would explain its failure. For some reason the lavender really didn’t last long at all. Not sure why.
My other herbs out front have been pretty happy. Purple and regular basil have hung in there while the peppermint has gone nuts and had to be trimmed repeatedly.
My pepper harvest is pretty paltry. All of the peppers have had a very heavy infestation of white flies. I have sprayed both neem oil and insect soap regularly, but they still reign supreme. Additionally, I think the pots I used back here are too wet. I got self watering because at my last house got, a lot of western exposure and clay pots resulted in a constant dry soil problem. I over-corrected. Much more shade here and the self watering pots are incredibly effective. I think the peppers prefer things a little dryer.
My total harvest was only a few undersized peppers. I might get a few small poblanos and maybe a candy cane, but I think that is it for the year. I will be replanting in better draining pots next year, and maybe going nuclear with a pesticide if those white flies rear their ugly heads again. Farming is hard…
After working on a bit of fermentation magic to create my first round of hot sauces, I was feeling pretty spiffy. I figured I could handle something that takes more time, like sauerkraut. I picked up a head of green cabbage and got started.
The process is even simpler than hot sauce. It is just shredded cabbage and 2% salt by weight. No other ingredients, including water, are needed. Mix it together and knead/massage the salt into the cabbage until it is juicy. Simple enough, but I still screwed it all up somehow. I think it comes down to mashing, but I am getting ahead of myself. The shredding and salting went well. I kneaded it until it was well reduced. Everything with into a quart jar with a bit of juice on top to keep it covered.
After 2 weeks I gave it a try. It had the right flavor, but was a little to hard and raw. I put the cap back on, and sucked it down to get the oxygen out. I figured it just needed more time, so I went ahead and made a bigger batch with red cabbage.
Same drill as last time, only a bigger staining mess. Still lots of fun. The two heads barely fit in my largest bowl at the start, but after massaging, they were much smaller. Almost all of it fit in my new 1/2 gallon mason jar.
The red cabbage bubbled like mad and pushed a lot of the fluid out leaving the cabbage a bit more exposed. I had to keep the jar in the sink for days as it seeped and spurted cabbage juice out of the top. A month later both cabbages were rather dry looking. I know they were pushing liquid out early on, but I don’t know how it could have all gone out that far down.
The green one smelled like something had gone wrong. I tossed it immediately. The red one smelled correct and looked decent. It had been in there a month, but still felt way too hard and crunchy to be right. I don’t think I kneaded either of them well enough to break them down properly. Also, next time I will try a head or head and a half in a 1/2 gallon jar, so there is plenty of room for it to push liquid around, but still stay covered. The color of the image below doesn’t do it justice, it is a pretty red color. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.