Last week, I wrote a post about my ambitious attempt to plant 15 varieties of Chilli’s, bedding down 4 seeds of each for a total of 60 plants. What I am going to do with 60 Chilli plants, should they all be successful, is beyond me, especially as one of the varieties will grow to be 4 metres tall and produce more than 20kg chilli’s in a season (and I planted 4 of these seeds too). I guess those who have followed my blog thus far have realized that I am not one to think things through to their conclusion much of the time.
Still, the start of week 2 is here, and what an exciting week 1 it was! It was way more exciting than watching grass grow, which is odd because here there was not even any plants to watch grow. That was, until this morning…but more on that later.
It turns out that I really do need to water these things daily. The paper egg cartons are a great idea, but they wick the water away from the soil very readily, especially with the ocean breeze blowing across them. I learnt very quickly that a 2 day watering cycle wasn’t going to work. Not only were they bone dry at the time of watering, but one occasion I found one of the cartons on the floor, contents partially spilled.
I am not sure if it was the wind that blew it of the table, I actually doubt it, or whether it was some wicked local animal playing mischievous games with my crop. Number one suspect is my English Staffy, Brunson, but he denied any knowledge. As you can see by the photo, however, he is hardly a dog to be trusted.
I recovered about 4 seeds from the mess, and given the bulk of the soil was still in the cartons, I am pretty sure that most of the seeds stayed in the carton. I did replant the escapees, and topped up the lost soil, so let’s hope that tray sprouts some time soon.
Today we are going to reveal the seeds planted in tray 1. The seeds in tray 1 were given to me by Cecil at work, and I am not 100% sure of the actual varietal. I can only go by what he has described, and maybe make some assumptions.
As it so happens, tray 1 is also the home of my first sproutling. This morning, when I opened the cartons to water them, I noticed one of the seeds had burst forth a pale green shoot. Very excited, especially as I didn’t expect any action until mid way through week 3.
Seed #1: Round Red Mild Chilli.
This is the seed that has sprouted for me already. If it is as described, I will probably save these chilli’s for one of 2 uses: stuffing (with a cream cheese mix) or pickling. From the description, it is either a Pimento (very mild) or a Cherry Chilli (mild).
Seed #2: Mild Bell Chilli
So, to me, this is a capsicum, or Bell Pepper. It may end up being something more similar to a pimento, which is pretty much what I imagine Seed #1 to be, given the vague description given to me. This blog entry is rapidly going down hill! If it is the Pimento or Cherry Chilli, I’ll be looking to do the same as seed #1.
If it is a capsicum, I will be eating these raw…or roasting them and preserving them in oil.
Seed #3: Long mild chilli
Again, a very vague description that could mean anything, however I am thinking they are the generic “Red Chilli” and “Green Chilli” which is common in mega marts around here. Quite mild, i’ll be using them to give flavour to salsa’s and mild curries, as well as using them for Taco night, given the kids are not exactly chilli heads.
(recipe courtesy Jamie Oliver)
- 600gr / 1lb 5oz medium green chillies
- 15 black peppercorns
- 5 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 5 teaspoons salt
- 6 heaped tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 litre / 1 3/4 pints white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
Stuffed Cherry Peppers (or Pimento’s)
- 100g chopped and seeded Kalamata Olives
- 100g soft goats cheese
- 50g plain yoghurt
- 1 lg garlic clove, minced
Blend ingredients and stuff the chilli’s. Serve raw. Pickled chilli’s can also be used here.
- 150g cream cheese
- 100g dried apricots, diced fine
- 20g slivered almonds, toasted
- pinch salt
Blend and stuff into chilli. Wrap chilli with bacon or proscuitto, and bake in a hot oven until tender.
Next week we’ll cover the seed that have been planted in tray 2. Hopefully i’ll get a few more sproutlings, and hopefully my wife will remember to look after whilst I am out of town this week, lol!
As always, enjoy the meal.