When we first moved to our house 24 years ago, we decided to put in a garden. Being young and energetic, we dug up half of the yard and planted a lavish garden with 14 boxed beds. Growing the standard garden favorites, we enjoyed cucumbers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, cantaloupe, peppers and even corn. By the time the squash vines borers decimated the squash and zucchini vines we were secretly happy because we had eaten so many of them we were tired. The cantaloupes were small producers but we got a few and the same for the corn. The tomatoes, however, we’re prolific producers! The Better Boy variety were so big, one slice would cover your bread.
After about 4 years we converted the number of boxed beds to 7 and concentrated on growing mainly tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, adding in some hot pepper varieties. Our enthusiasm soon waned and we returned the garden to lawn.
About seven years later, after my husband retired, he wanted to garden again. We planted a small plot with peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. The rabbits ate the bottom of the tomatoes before could pick them and the bees cross pollinated the sweet peppers with the habanero peppers. We gave up after two years.
Another seven years passed and I came up with the idea of building planter boxes to put on our deck so we could grow a few veggies. This time we were going to outsmart the birds and rabbits! The boxes were off the ground keeping the rabbits away and I made a framework of wire and netting to keep the birds from pecking holes in the tomatoes. We essentially put our veggies in plant jail. After four years of experimenting with various types of tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, we have now limited ourselves to just peppers, half hot and half sweet. This year we are growing jalapeño, chili, poblano, Hungarian hot wax, ethem, and of course, habanero.
What do we do with all those hot peppers? Make salsa, of course! My favorite is a combination of pineapple, jalapeño, fresh cilantro, and lime juice, all crushed together in a food processor and served chilled. It’s sweet and fiery at the same time. The other peppers get the same treatment with a few added ingredients to make your traditional hot salsa.
I wish my blog had smell-o-vision so you could breathe in the fiery aroma from these garden delights! Caliente!