Friday, December 4, 2009

Pobrecito! Part Two

Back last May( I wrote about my efforts to raise pimientos de padron here in Dallas. I had planted seeds of this Spanish variety of pepper on January 15, but only one seedling had survived.

I have nourished this one plant for almost 11 months now, and, as you can see from the picture (taken by our Christmas Tree when I brought the pepper in to avoid a frost last night), I’ve had a very qualified success. So far it’s produced four peppers. I’ve let one mature so that I’ll have seeds to try again next year. That means right now I’ll have the grand total of three small peppers to eat—one for each of our household.

That’s not much for 46 weeks, so far, of effort, but at the end of the month I’ll plant the seeds I save and start trying again.

Peppers are an unusual plant and saving pepper seeds can be tricky. Peppers hybridize with ease, one reason there are so very many varieties, but the distance between plants to avoid hybridization only has to be five or ten feet. So I’m hopeful the seeds will come true and next years crop will truly be pimientos de padron. Any plants grown from the seeds could, however, turn out to be some entirely different plant.

Probably, just to play it safe, I’ll also order another packet of pimiento de padron seeds from the mail order house. Maybe next year you’ll see me down at the Farmers Market selling pimientos de padron—or maybe I’ll grow at least enough for one decent meal.

Either way, I’m not going to quit trying.

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