A Good Year
I have fun growing chili peppers and continue searching for new varieties to add to my collection. Growing varieties of chili peppers stems from my love for spicy food. This year I grew fourteen kinds of chili peppers, plus Hungarian paprika, Little bell pepper and Baby bell pepper. I ran out of space basically. As much as I love peppers, I needed to grow some other vegetables too and I have to fence them all in. To my surprise, deer and rabbits eat chili pepper too. They leveled my neighbor’s peppers as well as what I left outside the fence.
We have plenty of chili peppers this year and hopefully they will ripen before the first frost. This growing season has been a little shorter than the previous year and there have been plenty of days that are cooler than normal. Chili peppers grow well when it is hot, however the flowers will drop and the growth stunted when it’s cold. The temperature has dropped below 50º F. for the last couple of nights so there are not that many ripened chilies as there were a week ago.
I have picked some early ripe ones but there still plenty of green chilies out there, especially the Karen (tribal in Southeast Asia), Himalayan yellow, and Bhut Jolokia. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for another few weeks hoping for above 50º F temperatures.
I freeze most of the ripe peppers to be used during the off-season. When I know that the first frost will come in a day or two, I cut all the chilies, green included, then dry, roast, and grind them for friends and colleagues who also love spicy food. I sprinkle the resulting chili powder on everything from noodle soup to pizza. As far as I know, spicy food in moderation is supposed to be good for your immune system.
And, yes, my stomach lining is still intact. Moderation is the key.