Sunday, November 04, 2012

2013 Chillis!

Right - 2012 was not a good year at Tai Haku's chilli farm. It started well. Very very well. Glorious germination rates, mad overwintering successes and early harvests. At one point I had well over 30 varieties growing. At present I have 5 plants left and yet another whitefly outbreak to cope with. I am seriously considering putting my 3 year old Trinidad Perfume plant out of her misery....

last harvest of the year

And yet as we move to the end of 2012, the 2013 Chilli season is already beginning. I'll be planting my chinense seedlings in mid-late December but what to plant?

Last year I feel like I overdid the number of varieties. I want a lot of plants again this year but not so many varieties - the idea being I can collect the same (or very similar) pods from 3 or 4 plants - this worked well for me in my first years as a chilli grower only for the wealth of variety to lure me into chaos so.....

Broadly speaking I'm planning to grow 2 (or possibly 3) types of annum pepper - primitive wildtype pequins to feed the grinder and Jalapenos for poppers and maybe a green jalapeno fermented mash sauce. In the ideal world I'd be able to get fresh jalapenos from a market and not bother growing them but I can't so I will.  Someday when my dreams of an autowatering monstrous chilli tunnel are realised this type of thing won't be an issue.

Chiltepin Grinder
the grinder needs feeding!

C. annum "Armish Bush"
A nice productive pequin. 'nuff said.

C. annum "Calusa Indian Mound"
The info I have on this one is that it is "from nature center,Boca Raton, Fl., native Florida pepper thought to be extinct, found on an old Calusa Indian mound".  As I'm a sucker for peppers with history I had to try this one even though it may be much the same as all other wild Floridian peppers. Supposedly it gets massive and is prolific which is good because the grinder needs feeding!

C. annum "Early Jalapeno"
This seems to be the preferred Jalapeno for most people in northerly climes on account of fruiting earlier than most others.

C. annum "Jalapenos Cracked"
This is a seed strain isolated from pods collected in Jalapa city, Mexico after which Jalapenos are named. It is supposedly hotter, sweeter and crunchier than most US varieties. It also corks (or cracks) vigorously. In Mexico corking is a mark of quality appreciated in peppers, in other countries like the US and UK it is often seen as a blemish to be erradicated. I want my peppers authentic and corky.

I may also grow some Padrons.

 C. baccatum "Aji Limo" is going to be my go to chilli for chillis to use in cooking. I've grown it before and am hoping/expecting it to produce a lot of pods for me.

I have two requirements from my chinenses this year - searing heat and fruity awesomeness in some pods and far less heat and even more fruity awesomeness in others.

C. chinense "Bonda ma Jacques" - a yellow hot pepper from St Lucia that a lot of chilliheads rate as the best of the hot chinenses. After trying and failing with the similarly highly rated Fatalii for a couple of years I'm hoping to see great things from this.

C. chinense "Tobago Scotch Bonnet"
A mild scotch bonnet - maybe something that's going to be usable for stuffing and poppers. I don't know much about this one but I'm hoping it will be to scotch bonnets as Trinidad Perfume is to habaneros.

C. chinense "Trinidad Perfume"
I love this pepper and will probably grow it every year I can. It is such a unique taste and so flavourful - I'd try to compare it to something else but it's really amazing. Grow and eat this pepper!

C. chinense "Trinidad Scorpion CARDI yellow"
A grower I've a lot of respect for said "Its one of my new favorite chiles, I'd grow a field of them this year if I had enough seeds. Great flavor and heat, not crazy hot like other scorpions. Also very productive for me" Sounds promising! CARDI by the way is the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

I wish I liked the flavour of chilies enough to make it worth putting in such effort to grow them - they look wonderful.