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A peck of peppers

Friday, October 28, 2016 10:13
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(Before It's News)

This year we enjoyed phenomenal success with the cayenne peppers.

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A funny thing about the cayennes: last year I started an entire tray, 50 plants, in the house; but when I transplanted them, only 15 survived. We got a nice little harvest of peppers, but Younger Daughter goes through them pretty regularly. So this year I started 100 plants indoors in February, of which 77 grew. I transplanted about 60 of them and gave extras to neighbors. And what do you know? I didn’t lose a single plant. Therefore we got buried in cayennes.

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Here they’re about two months old.

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Cayennes take a long time to mature, so it was necessary to start them early. But what fun to watch them grow!

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By mid September, the ripe peppers were thick on the vines.

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So I went through and picked all the ripe ones.

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There were plenty — lots — of green peppers still left on the plants.

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Cayennes are just so durned pretty.

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I ended up giving about a gallon of fresh cayennes to a neighbor who’s crazy about them.

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The rest I dried by putting them in a metal colander on the warming shelf of the wood cookstove. They can also be dried, of course, by stringing them and hanging. I’ve done it both ways.

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When our first frost hit last week, we harvested the tomatoes, red bell peppers, and cayennes. For the cayennes, we pulled the plants and laid them root-side-in in the wheelbarrow.

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Then I parked the wheelbarrow in the barn for several days as other chores took priority. But I wanted to process through the cayennes lest they go bad.

So Tuesday, during a rare sunny afternoon, I pulled the wheelbarrow out into the driveway and started picking the ripe peppers.

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The large basket quickly filled with fresh peppers. I’ll dry these, of course.

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But most of the plants still had green peppers on them.

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Last year, when we pulled the cayenne plants prior to a killing frost, we hung them upstairs to see if the remaining green peppers would ripen. Rather to our surprise, they did; so now we know to hang the plants until the green peppers ripen.

So as I picked ripe peppers, I put aside the plants that still had green peppers; then threaded them with twine.

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I ended up with three “necklaces” of peppers, which I hung in the barn. Everything should ripen over the next month or so.

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A few peppers fell off the plants which weren’t ripe yet, so I gathered these in a bowl and brought them in the house. I don’t know if they’ll ripen or not; we’ll see.

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I’ll plant more cayennes next February, but maybe, um, not quite as many.

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