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Last of the Homegrown Produce

Yesterday was an absolutely picture-perfect autumn day here in Seattle!  Sunny, warm if you were in the sun, with the leaves in full color.  I took the opportunity to do the end of the year pots-on-the-deck cleanup including the pots of herbs and peppers I’d been growing all summer.  At this time of year being able to do that work when it’s not raining is a real bonus!
Being tender annuals most of the herbs were ready to go, although for a moment I entertained thoughts of trying to get the basil to hold on just a little longer!  I quickly reminded myself of other years’ experiments and how the results were more trouble than they were worth.  I decided it really was time to let go. 
One plant I had a really hard time with, though, was my Corno di Toro pepper.  Corno di Toro is a sweet, mild Italian pepper.  Although technically it’s in the bell pepper family it’s not as strongly flavored as the bell peppers you find in the grocery store and it can be used in lots of ways.  It’s really great for stuffing, in salads, or added to braises or rice dishes where it enhances, not overpowers.  My plant this year was extremely prolific.  This was especially surprising to me as I planted very late in the year.  But once this plant started flowering the bees were all over it.  I’ve been eating peppers all summer and yesterday I harvested the basket you see above.  And there were still some blooms and lots of tiny, little one-inch peppers still on the plant.  Pretty amazing, especially since it was grown in a pot. 
I’ve been planting this pepper variety for several years and will continue to grow it in the years to come.  When you are planning your garden next spring, see if you can’t find a place in your garden (or in a pot on your deck) for this wonderful pepper. 

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