Fall greens and peppers

I'd figured that the vegetables in the mountain beds would have been frosted by now (it was supposedly below freezing last week). But an unexpected weekend found flourishing greens (unconsumed by woodchucks or other herbivores) and a final crop of ripe peppers, most 'Pizza' - a favorite thick-walled pepper and a few sweet frying peppers, along with some ripe 'Big Jim.'

Amazingly, the peppers hadn't been affected much by frost, but I went ahead and pulled up the plants, not knowing when frost might hit. Vegetables in the front garden are pretty darn visible in an urban environment!

I was delighted to see robust beds of Japanese turnips, producing heavily in spite of not being thinned. Yum. Delicious at lunch today. Fresh sweet turnips, especially these thin-skinned ones, along with their mild greens are an unexpected treat. Deer selectively ate their way through turnips, broccoli, collards, French sorrel (!), spinach, and lettuce in the Piedmont (roughly in that order), so I was really happy to see the abundance in the mountains. Lots of red chard, beet greens, and arugula are flourishing as well.

Herbivore note: in my experience (so far), woodchucks and deer are not interested in garlic, leeks, peppers, onions or potatoes. In previous years, woodchucks have eaten cilantro and arugula first, then moved on to other greens. We've only had deer 'issues' in the last couple of years, as their populations have built up in the Piedmont (and we live in town). This year, in their drop-by and sporadic visits, they've ignored both arugula and cilantro, bypassing them for French sorrel, which is remarkably tart. They seem to enjoy sorrel, though, as they're coming up right next to the house to enjoy it in the main vegetable garden bed outside the kitchen door.

A flourishing bed of greens and herbs

ripe 'Pizza' peppers

Japanese turnips


  1. That's a tantalising list of vegetables Lisa, many of which I don't grow. James Wong, an ethno-botanist here in the UK has recently published a book called 'Homegrown Revolution'. His premise is that there are many culinary plants enjoyed around the world that we could easily grow in our UK conditions. Sounds like you could add a few to his list.


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