Thanksgiving Pepper Harvest

Well our luck of avoiding a freeze in North Texas is running out.  Despite eating peppers every day for the last 6 months and despite working my dehydrator heavily I still have a huge surplus in the garden.  Most of it is peppers and we expect icing and 28 degrees on Thanksgiving night.  As I will be in a Turkey coma tomorrow I figured I better get all I could picked today, at least as far as the peppers go.  As the pictures show below both me and the dehydrator will be working over the weekend.

First a few shots just to show how beautiful our plants are producing this late in the year.   First up a pair of sweet peppers, one is a California Wonder the other a Big Jim Sweet.

Next up some of my awesome jalapenos and a mariachi pepper.

Last I had to also pick all the poblanos man these are just doing so awesome too bad the freeze is going to kill them.

So how many were left on Nov. 24th, a ton, here first one bag is sweet peppers the other poblanos.  These are those cloth shopping bags from the grocery to give some scale, the sweet pepper one is over 20 lbs.

These are mariachi peppers, this is what I got from just two container grown plants.

Next up jalapenos, man these have been doing great this year.  I had branches break off due to their weight.

Few more pictures I took while I was at it.  First some calendula, this has been doing great in the cooler weather.  Should survive the freeze if it isn’t too harsh and doesn’t get too much freezing rain.  I love these guys, flowers, food and medicine all in one.  These are also called “pot marigolds”.

The echinacea  is still holding on but the freeze will put it to sleep until spring.  Hope the new home owners appreciate me establishing it.

Did you know that when tarragon flowered that this was the result?  Pretty cool huh?

The New Zealand Spinach has been going absolutely mental.  I should get quite a bit of seed but no way to eat it all before Thursday night!  It doesn’t dehydrate well so that’s that, the huge ruby chard behind it though will do well right though a moderate freeze.

Last up the winter fava beans are well established and should handle a north Texas winter with no problems.

It is always a bit sad when you loose all your warm weather veggies to the first freeze of the year but I have tons of winter lettuce, spinach, cress, kale etc just waiting for a open spot.   So there will be plenty of salads all the way up till we move some time about Feb. 1st.  I really do hope the new owners of this place realize how incredible the soil we have built is.  Next year we will be working with 5 acres, I can’t imagine what that harvest will be like.

Anyway it seems kind of fitting that our final big harvest comes right around Thanksgiving this year.  We have a lot to be thankful for.  The thing I have been most thankful for though this year is all of you who have listened to, shared and supported The Podcast.  May your holiday be bountiful and may you have much to offer thanks for.

Oh and hey if you decide to do some holiday shopping check out some of the cool survival stuff on Amazon. Have a great Thanksgiving folks!  I will be mostly unavailable until Monday morning,

~ Jack Spirko

16 Responses to Thanksgiving Pepper Harvest

  1. Great pics Jack. We just harvested the last of our peppers and some green tomatoes in advance of the cold spell heading our way. We still have 6 tomato plants in a greenhouse that we plan to leave just to see if they can make it through the cold. I look forward to seeing what you do with your land in Arkansas- I’m sure it will be an adventure!!

  2. Hey Jack,

    Enjoy the fresh veggies. I’m getting ready to fire up the snowblower and move some snow.


    Winnipeg, MB Canada

  3. Here in western WA, everything had to be harvested as of last week. Not bad for the north. Freeze should be over in March.

  4. Super haul, Jack. What a garden!

  5. 5 acres … man I am so jealous. I’m working towards finding 2…but I’m a nitpicker. West Virginia is only a 3 hour drive for me and 4 hours to get in the middle. 10 year plan is in effect. Get property. Start laying in fruit trees and berry vines etc. 1st building will be a wood shed/ barn/ workshop type structure. The roof space will fill my rain catchment system. 20X32 cabin attached greenhouse. I really like Roscoe Bartletts cabin. You can see it in the video “Urban Danger” The video is a bit too religious but the technicals are great. If you haven’t watched it you should check it out. Keep up the great work. You inspire so much in so many.

  6. My high desert winter garden is looking good and survived 25 degrees Monday night. Tonight we’re supposed to possibly go down to 20. Can the lettuce, spinach, etc., handle that or should a cover them?

  7. Bryan Lee Sammis(aka. BIG-TARGET)

    It looks like there will be an extra fiber this thanksgiving for you and your family.

    Remember what the bible says:”That too shall pass!”

  8. send some of that stuff here jack. My “winter” garden is having a heck of a time in this heat wave we are having here in florida. Prepaired for winter now having to water like mad and deal with bugs and not a drop of rain in months. Gotta take the good with the bad. Let me know if you need help out on the new property next year, sounds like a great excuse for a permaculture road trip.

  9. I’m in south central PA and we have had frost for a couple of weeks now. I put plastic over the wire cage I made for my SFG and was covering my plants every night. I forgot to put the container with my cayenne in it under the plastic and they got fried. I planted lettuce and spinach on Memorial day and they seem to still be growing. I’ve basically left the plastic cover on around the clock now to create a mini greenhouse.

  10. Nice looking garden! I hope to have one half as good as that sometime soon, but I have so much to learn… Sounds like you’re getting a little nostalgic about your, soon to be, old place. 😉

  11. Modern Survival


    Most lettuce and just about any spinach should survive but you may want to consider a mini green house to get much better growth. Check out these two videos,


    The second one really drives it home.

  12. Man, I’m jealous

  13. Jack,

    All those peppers can GREAT so you can use them this winter in AR! Looks like you will have a spicy Thanksgiving. We (Mom, Dad, the Wife, and I) decided to have a harvest meal this sunday to use our fall garden fresh stuff before we have to can/pick the rest! Should be a great meal. We decided today to have a total home grown Thanksgiving next year! This year was about 1/3 home grown! GET OFF THE GRID AND COOK!

  14. Jack,

    I have a decent stand of New Zealand Spinach that I plnated last spring due its heat tolerance vs true spinach.
    One thing that I never have considered is how cold tolerant NZ spinach is. What is your experience with it? I’m one zone colder than you (7) in N GA.

    Also, is the reddish stalk cluster the NZ spinach picture its flower/seed or is it just a nice cluster of swiss chard fighting for sun?

  15. Modern Survival


    Well everything survived the mild freeze on Thanksgiving night but last night it didn’t make it. The peppers, tomatillos,etc are all dead.

    The N.Z. Spinach I am not sure because I haven’t gone out side yet. But the grass was well frozen when we got up and the low overnight was 28. I will let you know the fate of the NZ Spinach when I go out and check.

    The reddish stalks are ruby chard. It does well into the low 20s with no protection.

  16. Hi Jack,

    I thought you might be interested in this article:
    World’s hottest pepper is ‘hot enough to strip paint’