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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.

My Tibetan friends brought seeds of this Sikkim chili pepper back from India for me.  It has a heart shape, about the size of large cherry.  It's spicy.

My Tibetan friends brought seeds of this Sikkim chili pepper back from India for me. It has a heart shape, about the size of large cherry. It’s spicy.

Lemon Drop, a bright Canary yellow with citrus scent

Lemon Drop, a bright Canary yellow with citrus scent

Wild Brazil, very small Canary yellow chili with citrus scent.  The plant is very short, about six inches in height

Wild Brazil, very small Canary yellow chili with citrus scent. The plant is very short, about six inches in height

Small size Thai chilies, around three quarters of an inch but don't underestimate the heat

Small size Thai chilies, around three quarters of an inch but don’t underestimate the heat

This yellow Thai chili is long and very skinny.  It's spicy but not as much as the small red one above

This yellow Thai chili is long and very skinny. It’s spicy but not as much as the small red one above

Only two of this Korean chili have ripened so far.  This is the chili that is used in Kimchi

Only two of this Korean chili have ripened so far. This is the chili that is used in Kimchi

Indian Jwala chili is around two inches long, good both fresh and dry

Indian Jwala chili is around two inches long, good both fresh and dry

Jamaican Red chili has just started to ripen.  I skipped the yellow kind this year

Jamaican Red chili has just started to ripen. I skipped the yellow kind this year

Himalayan chili, another grown from seeds a friend brought back. Supposed to be spicy but none of them have ripened yet so I can't really tell

Himalayan chili, another grown from seeds a friend brought back. Supposed to be spicy but none of them have ripened yet so I can’t really tell

This long Thai chili can grow from 3.5 to 5 inches.  It's not as spicy as the little one

This long Thai chili can grow from 3.5 to 5 inches. It’s not as spicy as the little one

Bhut Jolokia or Ghost pepper was ranked the hottest pepper in the world a few years ago.  Now a couple of peppers have surpassed it but I settled on this one.

Bhut Jolokia or Ghost pepper was ranked the hottest pepper in the world a few years ago. Now a couple of peppers have surpassed it but I settled on this one.

The color of Purira chili is very interesting. It starts from creamy yellow, then a splash of purple, then orange and bright red at the end.  It's lovely as an ornamental plant as well

The color of Purira chili is very interesting. It starts from creamy yellow, then a splash of purple, then orange and bright red at the end. It’s lovely as an ornamental plant as well

This tiny Thai chili or 'Prik-Kee-Nu' (mouse dropping) is around .5 inch long or smaller but packs a lot of heat

This tiny Thai chili or ‘Prik-Kee-Nu’ (mouse dropping) is around .5 inch long or smaller but packs a lot of heat

I have no idea what this one will taste like. It's supposed to be a  Jamaican Red but since I let nature have its own way, this is the outcome. It may be cross pollinated between anything with Jamaican Red. A surprise.

I have no idea what this one will taste like. It’s supposed to be a Jamaican Red but since I let nature have its own way, this is the outcome. It may be cross pollinated between anything with Jamaican Red. A surprise.

And, yes, my stomach lining is still intact.  Moderation is the key.