The harvest is coming in hot and furious now.  I grew over 200 tomato plants and I can barely keep up picking and distributing them, but keep up I must!  Here is why it is important to keep picking all fruiting plants -- you don’t they will stop producing.

The purpose of producing a fruit like a tomato, pepper, bean or pea from the point of view of the plant is to preserve and protect the seeds inside of it as the fruit matures.  Long after we find most veggies desirable to eat, the plant uses the nutrients in the fruiting part of the plant to support the seed to maturity.  The long-term goal is to reproduce, not to feed a hungry world.

The “feeding” part is up to us.  That is why you need to harvest often.  The more often you harvest, the greater the fruiting of each plant.  At some point, of course, each plant reaches the end of its productive cycle.  Harvesting frequently helps to prolong that cycle.

There are many websites that provide great information on preserving your harvest.  One that I can recommend is Relish Yo' Mama.  Give it a try. 

As for hot peppers, as you will see in today’s segment with Jeff Hutcheson on Canada AM, we had a lot of fun discovering that the Jalapeno pepper, which is rated as 3,500 on the Scoville scale of spicy heat or piquancy, while the Scotch Bonnet is 350,000 and one other is over one million!  You will have to watch the segment to get all of the juice on this one.

Mark Cullen