I had a much larger post in mind for today, but we have to take our aging cat in for an emergency vet visit in a few minutes so I’ll have to pull it back slightly. It’s scary, facing the fact that this little animal whose life is so intertwined with mine and whose care I’ve been in charge of for so many years doesn’t have much time left. The house cat’s life expectancy is only so long, and given the health problems she has had in the past, I worry everyday that there is not much time left. She’s a royal pain in the ass, but I love her so much, probably even for it.
But I digress. Hot peppers. Most people know by now that while I love to grow hot peppers, I do not eat them. As a garden writer whose focus is primarily on food, it is important that I taste everything I write about in order to provide a personal account, but the reality is that I’ve long since lost the ability to digest hot peppers well. The gastrointestinal tract does not approve.
But there is something about hot peppers that keeps me excited about growing them, and each year I spend hours searching for new varieties to try. Even though I don’t eat them, I am always thrilled when the first fruits appear and later ripen. Hot peppers are beautiful plants, and with thousands of varieties available world wide, there is a lot to get excited about.
This year was a hallmark one as I took the opportunity of a new garden space to go a little bit overboard. Since I wasn’t growing the majority of my plants in pots, I was able to allot a great many of them to hot peppers specifically. Most of the post were grown on my stoop, but there were a few out back, as well as a couple of extras that ended up in the ground simply because there was no where else to put them. The above photo represents most of the varieties I grew, although at the time I took the picture there were still a few that were not ripened and even now there are two that are dragging their feet.
They are clockwise starting from the far left: ‘Purple Cayenne’, ‘Orange Rocoto‘ (These hadn’t ripened yet), ‘Fish’, ‘Variegata’, ‘Filius Blue’, ‘Chinese Ornamental’, ‘Chocolate Habanero’, ‘Chitepin’, ‘Golden Nugget.’