In the homeland they like a morning shower, time to dry the leaves in the cool sun. Then heat. Well watered, but lots of full sun and heat. They enjoy an afternoon shower around twilight.
You can have a wide variety of peppers in a relatively small space. And their look brings a hearty, tropical feel to your back yard. You can grow them in pots for water control and move them about for maximum sun and their curious ornamental beauty. Plus they are delicious and nutritious to eat. We recommend growing them without poisons.
A hot, sunny spot on your deck, three rows with four large pots each will provide space for 12 different pepper plants, one per pot. Double up if you prefer to have lots of single types, like Sweet Bell Peppers, or Jalapeno.
If you can, plant your peppers close to the kitchen. You will enjoy their freshness and their immediate availability. Four to six plants should produce plenty of peppers for sauces, salsas, and grills.
Peppers are highly nutritious and low in calories. According to Bailey Farms, Inc. both hot and sweet peppers contain Protein, Fiber, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Folacin, and Vitamin A. With Zero Cholesterol. No kidding.
We believe there are at least nine different types of peppers to be included in a well stocked high desert outdoor summer kitchen.
We carry all nine:
At the Cornell University Home Gardening Web site, the notion of "editable landscaping" and "editable landscapes" is discussed. Integrating editable plants into your landscape can bring a feeling of connection to the land and space of your gardens. It also offers the freshest possibility for certain summer fruits and vegetables. It's growing in the yard. There's something wonderful about that.
Garden Scrapbook entry: September 9, 2006.
This recipe comes from having grown eleven different peppers in containers on the deck, summer, 2006. After the first try, we were so excited about the taste (and other mystical aspects) that we've made it more than 7 times this summer so far. The ritual to the recipe is to select seven peppers from the eleven plants in the combination that comes to you at the time. If you grow the peppers and tomatoes yourself, this will be a mystical hot sauce, as are many homegrown, homemade hot sauces of old and new. It's mystical in different ways, so don't forget to 'think deeply' about the peppers you choose, the tomatoes, onion, garlic, herbs. All of it.
An example of eleven to choose from are:
Anaheim Chili, California Wonder, Sweet Banana, Hot Banana, Cayenne, Jalapeno, Red Beauty, Red Hot Cherry, Serrano, Tabasco, and Black Hungarian. As you can see, the majority of pepper plants we grew were hot peppers, so the sauce tends to be on the spicy side. Choose seven and remember, they don't all have to be from different plants and they don't all have to be hot. A nice sweet pepper like Sweet Banana adds a nice coolness to the salsa. On burritos, tacos, gorditas, tostadas, you won't believe how good this hot sauce tastes.
Note: You might want to use plastic gloves while handling the peppers. They have been known to do surprising things, like make your hands really hot and in need of an ice bath for hours on end.
Roast the seven peppers on a grill until they all have blackened skin. Chop off the stems, take out the seeds and discard them. Don't bother trying to remove the blackened skin. Just chop them all together until finely chopped.
Chop the onion and press or dice the garlic. Heat the oil. Saute the onion and garlic until the onion is tender. Add the tomatoes and peppers. Simmer until the San Marzano tomatoes are cooked, about fifteen minutes.
Add the chopped herbs and salt. Mix it all up with a wooden spoon, then remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature. Add the fresh lime juice just before serving.
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