Pick a peck


Of baby peppers

A few months ago when I was replacing some herbs that had not done well under my black thumb, I picked up a pepper plant as well. Self, I said to myself, you can grow some peppers to garnish your salads. Little did I suspect what I was starting.

At first the pepper bush looked quite normal. It got taller, it made some blossoms, and tiny little peppers started to form. There weren't all that many of them, and they all suffered from the same malady. dried apple faceNamely, a quickly-spreading brownish spot would appear on the surface, and the peppers would soon start to look like those dried-apple faces children sometimes make as an "experiment."

Only one of the peppers ever grew to what I consider normal size for a green pepper, and it, too, developed the dreaded spot (a melanoma from over exposure to the sun?). Undaunted, I harvested it and diced the unblemished bit into an omelette.

the prolific pepper bush
Profusion of peppers (click picture to enlarge)

Just as I was about to give up on the pepper plant and euthenize it, a strange thing happened: it started to bloom again! And not just a few blossoms, either — it was loaded with blossoms. Soon the infant peppers began to appear. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained, said I to myself optimistically.

The leaves of the pepper plant have for the most part curled themselves up, and it looks awful. But the little peppers have continued to flourish. At last count there were at over 30 of them, all on this one bush. But they seem to be miniatures; none is growing much bigger than a sore thumb. Perhaps the one that got big was simply a mutation.

At any rate, I am going to harvest them and toss them in my salad. They will be a nice counterpoint to the cherry tomatoes!