Pepper Patch Identification Post

Our pepper patch is looking righteous. We have more than 23 different varieties, with a total of more than 120 plants in the patch. It has been a challenge to keep everything properly identified so we know what we’re picking and when it’s time to pick it. We started by making a planting chart.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to tell when it’s time to harvest the peppers. They mature at different rates and some change colors (e.g., green to red) while others do not. The purpose of this post is to find a picture of a mature pepper for each variety in our garden. I haven’t yet identified the plants labeled “mixed.”

Row One
Corno di Toro Rosa

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The Corno di Toro Rosa (aka Bull’s Horn) is a very sweet, large, oblong-shaped pepper. The fruits mature in 75-85 days and ripen from green to bright red. Due to it’s form this sweet pepper is often used for stuffing, slicing onto salads (or a stirfry), or cooking on a barbecue.

Cherry Hots

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These little 2″ peppers are very hot and mature from green to red within 80 days.

Chocolate Habanero Hybrid

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The Chocolate Habanero (aka Congo Black) is one of the hottest peppers from the Caribbean, maturing from green to brown. I will be fermenting these peppers.

Aji Yellow

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These 2″ Peruvian peppers are very hot and mature from light green to bright yellow in approximately 100 days.

Row Two
Paper Lantern Hybrid

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Just as hot as regular habanero peppers, the Red Paper Lantern variety matures much faster (70 days) transforming from green to orange to bright red as they ripen.

Rat Turd

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These spicy little peppers mature from green to red in approximately 100 days. Don’t be surprised if you see a Rat Turd Sauce in the near future.

Yellow 7 Pot X Scorpion 5

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A cross between two of the hottest peppers on Earth. They will mature from green to red or yellow within approximately 110 days.

Sweet Chocolate Cherry

The chocolatey version of the cherry hot pepper (above).

Row Three
Aji Colorado

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These spicy peppers mature from green to red (and perhaps yellow?) in approximately 90 days.

Red Bishop Crown

This mildly spicy relative of the Aji pepper has a fruity taste and matures from light green to bright red in approximately 90 days.

Fooled You Jalapeño

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This jalapeño pepper has absolutely no head (but still has that smokey jalapeño taste) and matures to a dark green in approximately 85 days.

Red Cayenne

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This is just your standard slim cayenne pepper, maturing from green to bright red in approximately 75-80 days.

Indonesian Cayenne

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Similar to the Red Cayenne (above).

Row Four
Green Bell
I think we’re all familiar enough with green bell peppers. No picture needed.

Jamaican Hot Chocolate Habanero

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This is an extremely hot pepper with a strong smokey taste. It’s going to be perfect for a Jamaican jerk sauce!

New Mexico Big Jim

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This giant pepper is mildly spicy and matures from green to red in approximately 85 days. Stuffed peppers for dinner, anyone?!?!

Krimson Lee Mild

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This mild pepper matures to bright red and is perfect for pizzas and salads.

Row Five
Chile Catarina

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This small Mexican pepper is used to make tamales, marinades, stews and soups. I will likely dry them out, grind them, and put them into a dry BBQ rub.

Alma Paprika

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Alma Paprika look similar to a Pimiento in shape but start out white and then slowly turn orange and finally turn red at maturity. The fruits are round and very thick walled making them great for stuffing. They are very sweet yet have a distinctly spicy flavor (slightly milder than a Jalapeño). Great for stuffing & grilling or drying & grinding into a sweet Paprika powder.

Carolina Cayenne

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Similar in appearance to the original cayenne, this variety is twice as hot, slightly wider, and matures to a deep red color.

Row Six
Broome Chili

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The elusive Broome chilli of Australia. This rare plant puts out dark green snub-nosed pods that ripen to a deep satin red.

Row Eight
Red Monkey Face

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These hot peppers ripen from green to red and (supposedly) resemble a monkey’s face.

Sweet Lipstick Red

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The sweetest pepper in our patch.

Hopefully these pictures will help us easily identify each pepper by sight and harvest them at just the right time.


Growing Ambition

I’ve planned out our 2013 garden. As usual, Evelyn thinks I’ve taken things a way too far. Of course, I think she got that hint a few weeks ago when I seeded 480 hot pepper plants. I have a tendency to go a little overboard sometimes. We have the land so might as well utilize it, right?!?! We have a couple of friends that want to help us garden this summer so hopefully it won’t be too much to handle. Below is a map that I came up with. You can see a more detailed view with my notes here.

100 Backyard Sunset Photographs

We’ve lived in our new home for less than a year and I’ve already taken 100 photographs of sunsets from our back yard.  Most of the pictures were taken and edited on my iPhone.  Some of them, particularly the early photographs, are a little over processed.  It’s taken me some time to learn how to properly edit the pictures using a number of apps on my phone.  I hope you enjoy!

Pitching my Design Concept: Masculine Whimsical Steampunk

I’ve been thinking about a design theme for the space that consists of the dining and living rooms but I’ve had trouble explaining it to Evelyn.  I decided that a blog post with pictures and explanations might be the best way to make my pitch for a space that is simultaneously vintage (Victorian), masculine, and whimsical (without a hint of irony).

ImageImageTHE ROOM in question has white carpet, Ben Moore’s Alfresco blue walls, two white pillars and a beautiful glass chandelier handed down to us from Evelyn’s grandmother.  My father in law installed it with a dimmer switch and it’s really fancy.  We’ve also got an oval mirror that has a wrought iron appearance.  We have enough space for a large table and a buffet, and perhaps even a corner hutch, in the dining area.  Our current dining room table seats six but we want to replace it with one more appropriate for the size of the space that seats 10-12 (perhaps a round one?).   The living room is empty except for our brown leather Eames chair.  I think an antique loveseat and a Queen Anne and/or Louis XV chair would compliment the chandelier.  Image

On our last trip to Memphis we spent a day with Evelyn’s mom at the Sheffield Antique

Mall where I found a paper table runner that I intend on cutting into two panels and placing into antique baroque frames, perhaps with a big mirror between them (and sconces on the outside to finish the wall).  The brown paper looks good on the blue walls and it matches our beige curtains. I think the line drawings of the antique silverware have a really neat, vintage look.  So, that’s what we currently have.  Where do we go from here?  Image

I’ve imagined a space inspired by Victorian steampunk themes centering on adventure, with a touch of period-specific anthropomorphic masculine whimsy.  I want to downplay the “punk” in steampunk (eg, less emphasis on gadgets and cogs and goggles) and downplay cartoonish steampunk fantasy elements (eg, less emphasis on the dark & seductive elements seen elsewhere).  In doing so, I’m hoping that the whimsies that do exist seem more plausible and authentic. So how might this play out?  Can such a space stand the test of time without being kitchy.  Is there such a thing as masculine whimsy and can it manifest itself in a living space without being ironic, or utterly absurd.  What would a space look like if it were designed around the supposed travels of an old steampunk explorer?  Where do the pilots of those imaginative steam-powered balloons go?  Who do they meet and what do they bring back from their journeys?  I believe the answers to these questions can be manifest in a living space in such a way that inspires creativity (important if our children grow up in the countryside, somewhat isolated) and provides a structure onto which Evelyn and I can add our own adventure booty.

So, were you to climb into your Victorian steam-powered flying contraption, what adventures might you have?  What relics might you have returned from your adventures with to place in your abode?  Perhaps a drawing or two of steampunk aircraft.  And the “steampunk” theme is just a conceptual framework that can help us include things that have come to define us as individuals.  For example, we have (an inexplicable?) affinity for jamband music and one of my close friends, Sei Rey (of Us&Them Studios), has a great Phish print that would work perfectly in our adventure-themed space!

And some stenciled scenes reminiscent of the adventures you’ve had.

Perhaps some notes on your favorite French armor, or some sketches of creatures you’ve discovered.

OK… So far, so good.  Let’s take it to the next level.  What lies beyond the edge of the map, on the brink of imagination?  The giant squid that nearly took out the ship.  Perhaps the noble parrot statesman?  Or the heroic rhino sergeant?  Or the elder buffalo statesman.

Did I lose you?  Is it too much?  Too… bizarre?  Absurd?  Immature?  Or can you see my vision?  Period specific pieces: antique frames, old photographs, etchings, vintage maps, a trunk, ornate Victorian furniture, weathered trinkets.  Could it come across as authentic and unique, instead of ironic and cynical hipster chic?  I think it could be done but I admit, it’s risky.

Fantasy Money

I’ve been playing fantasy football with the same group of college buddies for several years.  Last year I came in 1st place (for the second year in a row).  The league pays out the winnings just before the next season’s draft.  Thus, I just got a nice fat check!

Now, we are at no loss for things to spend money on.  We’ve got a big mortgage payment, student loan debt and Evelyn has a birthday this month.  But, this is FANTASY money.  It begs to be spent on an extravagance.  So, after much hand-wringing, at about 1:00 am this morning, while my beautiful wife lay sleeping, I bought a Bradley Smoker.

I’ve been pining for an electric smoker for years.  I’m so excited I can barely stand it.  This football season will be filled with smoked ribs, smoked turkeys, smoked hams, crackers and smoked cheese, smoked beef briskets, chips and smoked jalapeno salsa, smoked fish, smoked nuts, homemade smoked sausages, and who knows what else!  With any luck, Evelyn won’t have a cow when she checks our account this morning.  If she does, I’ll SMOKE IT!!!!


Our Latest Addition: “Leaf” by Perdue Studios

We recently acquired a 7.5 ft solid steel sculpture from Perdue Studios in Asheville, NC.  It is a stunning (and incredibly heavy) addition to our front yard.


Evelyn and I recently purchased new iPhones.  We love them!  In fact, I don’t know how I lived without one.  We’ve spent the last week or so downloading apps for all kinds of things including navigation, coordinating grocery lists, playing music, and taking photographs.  I’ve been particularly enamored with the latter.

I’ve downloaded several photo apps including Instagram, Camera+, Picfx, Snapspeed, Pixlromatic, Photosynth, and Decim8.  Each app offers something different and combining the various apps’ filters produces some amazing results.  Check out our photo feed in the next column to see my most recent pictures!  Here are a few of my favorites from the last week: