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In My Garden: Jalapeño Peppers

Have I ever said Laura and I like it hot? Well, I'm speaking of food here! Over the years we have become accustomed to a little heat and spice in our food so I purchased jalapeño seeds from and planted three seeds in 4" x 4" pots which I kept in my greenhouse. When the plants were about 6" tall I planted them in the raised beds in the greenhouse. All three plants grew very well there and when they were about 18" tall they started flowering and producing fruit (peppers are considered a fruit even when they aren't sweet). 

When the fruit was mature Laura started picking the peppers and using them in her cooking. To our surprise some of the peppers were very hot and others had almost no heat, so we started separating them and making note of the different fruit from each plant to see if the plants were different or if some fruit on each plant was hot while others weren't, or some other reason.

What we found was one plant produces very hot peppers and the other two very mild peppers. So I removed the two mild jalapeño plants and kept the hot one and after three years it is still going strong and producing wonderful, hot and spicy jalapeño peppers. Laura uses them in everything from rice and bean dishes to pesto, soup, red sauces, enchiladas, and tofu stir-fries. You name it, she cooks with it. She even dries them in our dehydrator, since our small plant has grown into a small tree and produces more than we can use when they are fresh. Once dried, they are ground in our coffee grinder and saved in spice jars. The morning after she makes the jalapeño powder our coffee is spicy hot from grinding the coffee beans in the same grinder. Delicious! 

Below are a few photo's of drying the jalapeños. Remember to wear gloves when handling them.

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