Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Naga, Naga, Naga....Naaaaaaaaga!

Well, the Naga Morich has finally flowered and pods have formed! Yay! Feel really good about it, and quite eager to see how they develop!

Naga Morich

Naga Morich Flower

Naga Morich

Naga Morich

Naga Morich

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Pretty in Purple

I have to admit that one of the best things I could have ever done was to move the Esplendor Chilli to the office.

At home it was fine and green, but all of the flowers were dropping, no doubt due to the lack of sunshine and temperature.

But in the office, well, what can I say? Photos really say it better than any words I could type in here:






They are just lovely.

The Naga Morich plant has just had it's first developing chilli, though I have to admit it may not be a 'pure breed'. The temperatures are still to low, so pollen is not being released from the flower. Therefore I got some pollen from a ready supplier (the Piri Piri) and hand pollinated it. Thus if a pod does develop, I shall christen it the 'Naga Piri' Chilli! (dramatic music ensues).

I am getting really frustrated with the Caribbean Red Habanero and the Orange Habanero. Both are doing fantastically well, great colour on the leaves, great size, plenty of flowers.

And all the flowers are dropping.

Without pollinating.

Very few of the flowers are releasing pollen, which is annoying. I am starting to think I might need to borrow the Piri Piri flowers for a little more 'Artificial Insemination', but that would just not be fair.

I'd have chillies, yes.

But not Orange Habs.

Not Caribbean Red Habs.

I'd have mutts!

Nothing wrong with that, to be honest, but I kind of wanted to try the real thing first.

Oh, and Andy Murray just won his match.

I'm still not a fan of his, though. I think he's too full of himself. And yes, there's nothing wrong with that, it pushes you to be better.

But my personal tennis favourite may have been a little 'odd', but he wasn't full of himself (Andre Agassi!)

Not feeling too good today. I blame it on a parent practicing her 'bad parenting skills' yesterday by leaving her really ill child (OK. She was late teens) on a sofa in the office cafe while on an open day. The poor child threw up four times while her mom went to a university accommodations meeting. I had to call the person in charge of the Open day and request a First Aider be sent to look at the poor girl.

Seriously now, if your child is doing poorly in the throws of a virulent, possibly highly contagious disease, do you leave her ALONE , oh, and in a crowded place while you go off with your other child?! Seriously now. Where are your priorities, lady?

I know it's a parenting choice here, but if I was the parenting police I'd be putting some serious points on that mom's parenting licence.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Stilton and Orange Juice: Not a Good Mix!

Just came out of a party for some co-workers who are leaving, and discovered something new today (what life should be about, really. Discovery!):

You don't put a large wedge of Stilton, or any other 'Blue Cheese' for that matter, and then glug some Orange Juice.

The taste and smell is akin to...well, regurgitating something after having eaten it some six hours earlier...

Absolutely vile. If it was used as torture on war criminals it would definitely be in violation of their human rights!

Eating some delightful carrot cake now to was away the horrible aftertaste of that mix...

Oh, and I was 'blessed' by a seagull yesterday afternoon...

Nearly six years in this lovely city, and I'd managed to avoid getting dive bombed. But I guess it's a rite of passage. I'll do the customary 'purchasing of lotto ticket' tonight and see what happens.

On the chilli front all I can say is I wish all days were like this!

Sunshine to the MAX! Good temperature.

The Esplendor is awash with beautiful purple flowers.

The Naga Morich has had most of its flowers open today (and I just measured some of the monster leaves at well over a foot in size!!).The other Naga Morich is now in full speed flower budding.

The Piri Piri is heavy with pods.

The Chocolate Habanero is having some of the flowers open.

Another of the Chocolate Sweet Peppers is ripe on the plant.

The Fatalii Twins are growing, growing, growing!

Oh, and Almapaprika ate the first of the ripe Chocolate Sweet Peppers!

She loved it. Said it was very sweet and had a good texture to it. She stuffed it with some cous-cous...and the stuffed in inside a green bell pepper:

Chocolate Sweet Pepper (Stuffed inside a Green Pepper)

This carrot cake is REALLY good...

Monday, 22 June 2009

Have presentation...will travel!

I have a presentation to finish for my studies, so I shall have to be brief in today's entry (which means I won't be able to expand on my 'Ugg Boots' dilemma, or enthrall you with the philosophical waxings on 'how WAGS are bringing back the old lady styles of...well old, and how they think it's brilliantly cool while it's actually pretty silly', and Almapaprika took a great photo at the weekend of three 'WAGS-in-training' but I digress...)

Very quick update (and I seriously need to upload the photos I've been taking):

1-One of the Ring of Fire Cayenne has finally ripened! Yahoo! Altavista! Ask Jeeves! It's all nice and red and shiny. Will make for good eating soon.

2-The second of the Chocolate Sweet Peppers is also ripening. That one goes to one of my co-workers who has been eyeing it for a while now.

3-The Piri Piri is loaded with little peppers and flowers. Not bad for a 1 foot by 1 foot plant.

4-The Esplendor now has a brilliant upright purple chilli growing from it!

5-The Chocolate Habanero had one flower open, but it dropped :-(

6-One of the Naga flowers has opened! But it too, will probably drop. Temperatures have not been high enough for pollen release for the super hots.

7-The Etna has its first chilli pod growing! The Stromboli might as well in a day or two.

8-Black Cuban and Fataliis are budding! Grooviness!

9-The second Naga (the one that was at home but was transferred to the office) is budding ferociously now)


10-The flippin' aphids are now on the Caribbean Red Habanero. FILTHY SUCROSE COWS!

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Interesting uses for the mobile phone...

This is a very quick post. I am writing from my mobile phone. It is very cool, to be honest, though not something I shall be indulging in too often. My phone, you see, is not 'pudgy finger friendly', and whilst it does have a 'qwerty' keyboard, the lovely people at nokia and blackberry believe we are all in possession of skeletal digits.
Everytime I write, I feel quite aware of just how clumsy my thumbs are.
But I leave you with this morsel of conference: what is the purpose of ugg boots?!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


What a difference the office makes!

The Esplendor chilli, which at the new place was shedding flower buds fast, has just had it's second really groovy looking purple flower open up (the first one possibly germinating I have to give it another day to see).

Absolutely brilliant!

Who would have thought a place of mind-numbing work could also be used as a fantastic greenhouse! If only we could do this to all places of work, life would be so much more enjoyable...

I have coined a phrase (at least in my mind, since I haven't seen anyone else use it), so I claim it for Aji Chombo Land! (plants imaginary flag on top of idea):

Office Aphids.

We've all worked with one of these before. They are the ones that really contribute nothing useful to the overall workings of the plant, defecate all over it with sickly, sticky-sweet goo that seems to attract the sort of 'large-mandibled', irksome characters that are only interested in one thing (their behinds!), and will become very 'ungentlemanly' (or 'unlady...ly') towards anyone that goes near them or dares point out what an utter waste of space these creatures really are, which in turn means said aphids remain in place no matter how detrimental they are to the overall cohesion of the plant. Furthermore, they create conditions which invite 'Office Spider Mites', 'Fungal infections', and all other manner of miscreants.

Yes, we've all worked with this sort at one point or another.

Which means we should all be thankful for the 'Office Ladybird'...

I have taken more photos, which I shall be uploading soon! Oh, and the Chocolate Sweet Pepper finally ripened, so it has been plucked form the plant and taken home, where it shall be stuffed with some manner of concoction and fed to Almapaprika!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The Sexy Fatalii Twins

Much to my chagrin, I have recently discovered (another wonderful thing about THP forum) that posting photos of your chilli peppers online, with their flowers exposed constitutes 'pepper porn'. In that respect, I would like to apologize to any and all capsicums that may be in within view of a computer screen when their respective owner reads this blog (or any of my entries in THP) and sees images of my piri piri flowers.

I can assure you these images are purely for artistic aesthetics.

This is an image of the Fataliis I'm growing. I have decided to call the bigger one 'Fatal-a', and the smaller one 'Fatal-e', because I'm just having a silly moment... I just re-potted them into 20cm pots, because the 3cm pots they were previously in were just waaaaaaay too small (they are in a previous pic). Now I hope the leaves grow big and green, and they start producing pods. I planted them in some compost with John Innes Numero 3, which means I'll give them a week or two (or three) before using Chilli Focus, since that compost should be loaded with tasty nutrients.

Oh, and the Piri Piri is flowering even more! There is one fully grown pod on the plant, and two more starting.


Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Crystal Leaves?!

One of those odd things that happens in gardening, I reckon. The Etna and Stromboli chillies (I've been told this is my own unique spelling of the word) have had a number of their leaves become covered in what I can only describe as 'crystals', which seem to be protruding from the leaves themselves.

I have asked in the hot pepper forum, but no answer yet. A quick search through google came up with a possible creation of crystals as a means of certain plants to filter out heavy metals from their water supply.

But I doubt that one.

Although if it is true, then that would mean that one of the water sources I have been using to water the plants has some amount of Peanut butter (OK. Lead. Pb. I can't even make a joke these days...), which is slightly worrisome. I might take one of the leaves to a friend of mine to see if there are traces of HM's in the leaves.

At the advise of some of the members of THP, I have decided to trim the bottom leaves of the Naga Morich and Chocolate Habenero (as well as a few other plants), to help improve the overall growth of the plant and flowers, as well as the circulation of air through them, though I did pick a crummy day to do so, as it is fairly cold.

I've also been told by a couple of them that the leaves are indeed quite large. I took some more photos of the plants now trimmed, and took photos of the largest leaves I could find after I trimmed them.

They are indeed 'Gargantuan'.

All the plants grew something fierce over the weekend (the photos below are from the 5th of June), some stretching as much as two inches!!!

I can only imagine how much more they would have grown had there been real sunshine instead of this typical English summer...

Friday, 5 June 2009

Chocolate Habanero

Chocolate Habanero 2

Chocolate Habanero Buds

Chocolate Habanero 5 June 2009


Fatalii 5 June 2009

Piri Piri Flower

Piri Piri2 5 June 2009

Piri Piri and Fatalii

Piri Piri Pepper 5 June 2009

TGIF? Not if your chillies are at work...

I dread weekends.

Don't get me wrong. I like the idea of goofing off for hours on end, just like the next pepper.

But all my plants are at work now. So that means I need to water them well enough Friday afternoon, and hope we don't get a mystery heatwave over the weekend (though in this neck of the woods that's about as likely to happen as Elvis riding the Loch Ness monster down the street in hot pursuit of Bigfoot).

I almost forgot to do a mouseketeer roll call for the chillies being grown at work:

1-Naga Morich x 2
2-Orange Habanero x 2
3-Fatalii x 2
4-Black Cuban x 2
5-White Habanero x 2
6- Esplendor x 2
7-Chocolate Habanero x 1
8-Caribbean Reb Habanero x 1
9-Rocoto Rojo x 1
10-Red Savina x 1
11-Paper Lantern x 1
12-Stromboli x 1
13-Ring of Fire Cayenne x 1
14-Etna x 1
15-Chocolate Sweet Pepper x 1

And, of course, the two butternut squash.

Fingers crossed for another weekend of them fending for themselves.

I might have some photos to upload soon! Took them today, but need access to the computer at home.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

The Hot Pepper

I have joined a fun forum called The Hot Pepper. I think I can get quite a bit of info there, and the people seem nice, if a little insane (but then again, I don't exactly have all the bananas in my banana split...)

I found it after whilst perusing through the hippyseedcompany.com

Very Funny website. I know someone who would do that sort of thing and I can video them as well, probably...muahahahahahah! (I should take it easy with the maniacal laugh...)

The exodus continues...

The only plants left at home are the two Belpicens and Etna in the large blue terracotta pot, and the four chillies 'under glass': Datil, Cumari o Passarinho, Hot Paper Lantern and Jamaican Hot. They are extremely small, yet proportionately developed.

They might be good as bonsai.

I have had to re-shuffle the pots at work. The co-workers whom (?) I gave the butternut squash to re potted them (the poor things were in 3cm pots, with leaves about 6in in diameter) to a larger planter, which meant repositioning the chillies about a bit.

I also re potted the Rocoto Rojo that was in the office into a larger pot (the one belonging to the Rocoto Rojo that had supposedly died. Turns out the blinking thing had lost all its leaves, but there was a very small leaf bud showing on the top of it. I put it in an area of the front of the building where it might have a chance to survive.) The office one was also in a 3cm pot.

For that matter, the Cayenne Ring of Fire and the Chocolate Sweet Pepper have been producing fruit whilst being planted in a 5cm pot. I'm sure I could have possibly gotten more fruit out of them in a slightly larger pot, but don't want to risk moving them right now, so there they shall have to stay.

I really need to take more pics of the plants now.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Exodus....Movement of the Chillies!

Well, it had to happen. I tapped the Esplendor lightly last night, and the unopened flower buds just fell off.

I looked at the Belpicens and more of the little flower buds had withered into pathetic black little blots.

The Naga Morich still looks fine, but nowhere near as vibrant as the one in the office.

I have decided to move the home chillies.

The Esplendor has been moved today, and is now in the office.

The Naga might follow tomorrow, but we'll see. Both the Naga and the Belpicen/Etna pots are terracotta, and weigh quite a bit, so not looking forward to lugging them uphill for 20 minutes.

But the thought of watching them simply not produce because of not ideal conditions bothers me more.

On the bright side of things, the Chocolate Habanero has started to produce flower buds! Yay!

And the annoying little aphids are still all over my blueberries!!!

Monday, 1 June 2009


I seem to have a difficult capsicum choice to make:

Do I keep all the plants at home, or bring them to the office where the sun shines brightly?

This weekend half the flower buds fell off the Belpicens, around twelve in total. It could be a combination of things, but I'm leaning to not enough sunshine. I couldn't put them outside, if the Rocoto Rojo is any proof of what will happen to them. Also, the blueberries were teeming with little leprecha...I mean aphids yesterday (I spent the better part of an hour and a litre of diluted SB plant invigorator trying to spray them off, all the time muttering at them with a horrible 'Brad Pitt does a pikey accent' voice 'Get off me blueberries, ya muckers!') which leads me to believe if I send any chilli plants out they will be swarmed by the little emerald sucrose defecators.

I've also been thoroughly impressed by the way both the Chocolate Habanero and the Naga Morich have been thriving at the office, with the Naga now showing flower buds. The Naga back at home is lagging about a week behind in growth.

This, of course, also has implications for the hydroponics. Do I keep the system at home, even though I know the sunlight requirements are better met at the office? or do I stick to growing them at home and buy a lamp to grow them on, which will add to the expense of growing the chillies?


The good news is that the Orange Habanero has just flowered, as has the Piri-Piri, which means hopefully soon there shall be CHILLIES!!!!

Why is it so difficult for people to follow simple instructions?! I know the answer is 'There is no such thing as simple instructions', but seriously now, if it's written and has arrows pointing in a particular direction, why do it the opposite way?