Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Back from the Break

I am making a short entry today as I am back from my break... longer a single pepper, but now as a married pepper (Almapaprika and I have joined in holy capsicumony).

I put a small entry about a pre-wedding happening with chillies in THP forum, as the first entry I've put as a pepper related event since I last made an entry.

Had no honeymoon, as the lovely Icelandic volcano cause havoc all over Northern Europe, making it impossible for us to leave on our mini-trip to Rome.

Que tragedia griega!

Worst of all, brother never brought me the seeds of Aji Chombo I asked so many times about!


Dad, on the other hand, did manage to leave with half my supply of Ring of Fire and White Habaneros. Not a lot of seeds, mind you. But he was happy to see his son enjoying growing chillies.


The plants survived, thanks to the peeps at the office who kept them well watered.

The Orange Habanero even has some pods on it, which is great considering it only produced pods in July last year.

The rest of the plants are doing very well, specially the Black Nagas, which I left under the little domes. They were a wee bit crammed into the little domes, but they look much, MUCH bigger than the last photos I took of them.

I wrapped all of the little plastic bottles with tin foil (kitchen foil for the Brits) so that if the roots reached the edges, they wouldn't get scorched by direct sunlight (since I would not see the plants for about 10 days). It also reflected sunlight back at the leaves of the plants. I have read that foil mulch can help plant growth and productivity.

I will probably have to start re-potting some of them to permanent pots soon, just like I did with the Trinidad Scorpion before I left a fortnight ago to prepare for the wedding.

The sad bit has been that the hydroponics at home has been a disaster, with only one plant currently surviving...


I will probably take photos of the plants at the end of the week to post the growth updates.

The Maize Morado is now almost 3 feet tall! I can't wait to see it reach 8 feet!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Some comparisons

I decided to try to upload some of the photos I've not been able to upload for the past two weeks up, and put them next to one another to compare growth between 1 April 2010 and 9 April 2010:

I'll Start off with the Purple Corn (on all photos, the top one is 1 April, the Bottom one is 9 April)

Purple Corn - 1 April 2010

Not sure it's the best of comparisons, but it gets better, I promise!

These are the Black Nagas.
Black Naga - 1 April 2010

The Barrackpore 7-Pod
Barrackpore 7-pod - 1 April 2010
Barrackpore 7 Pot 9 April 2010

The Trinidad Scorpion
Trinidad Scorpion 1 April 2010
Trinidad Scorpion 9 April 2010

The Ring of Fire Cayenne
Ring of Fire - 1 April 2010

And just for goodness sake, here's the progress of the Madame Jeannette (9 April)

And the Aji Umba Red (9 April)

Well, I'm off to be 'domestic' and attempt to try to clean the house a bit, before people start arriving this week for the 'Union of the Peppers' between yours truly and Almapaprika.


Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The Ice Cream Bean Cometh!

I spent the better part of a conversation on Easter Sunday attempting to remember the name of a particular fruit eaten in Central America with a friend from that neck of the woods.

After much searching (in our minds), we were unable to actually remember the name of it, to our collective frustration.

This morning, however, I have finally remembered the name of said fruit:

The Guaba.

At least that is the name given to it in Aji Chombo Land. The Scientific name for it is Inga edulis. The English name for it is apparently the Ice Cream Bean, which I find funny, though strangely appropriate.

I remember having some as a child, and what a fantastically strange fruit it was. Imagine if you will a very large tree with pods nearly a foot long by about an inch and a half. Inside these pods are large black seeds wrapped in what looks like dense, white cotton, or cotton candy. The taste is a bit like banana, but sweeter, and with a slightly more fibrous texture.

Good stuff, and the tree apparently helps replenish nutrients into the soil (in a similar fashion to legumes).

Just if any of you are planning to start crops...

Four days away from the plants seems like an eternity.

Four days away from work however, are bliss.

Amazing how quickly stress builds up again, even though there's hardly anything to do thanks to Easter Break.

I think the lack of things to do just piles on even more stress.

Who would ever have though that?

It's either stress from not having much to do AND being in a very publicly exposed location, or the fantastic combination of under staffing, exposure, and high levels of friction caused by inconsistent (highly, HIGHLY inconsistent) customer service policies. Hopefully things will get sorted out soon (since the higher ups have realised just how stressed we are down in the trenches), but odds are I'll be face to face with the Oriental Yeti (Elvis' Pet) before I see any worthwhile changes...


But I digress.

The Maize Morado is doing very well. Seems to like it's new 'enclosure.' I really am eagerly anticipating the eight foot tall stalks (as are the people in the office I put them in, since they will act as natural shade).

The Roselle is not shooting up like the Maize Morado, but it continues to grow steadily. I imagine this lack of growth has more to do with the low temperatures in this start/stop spring (since it snowed last week). But it looks healthy so I'm going to keep crossing my fingers. I was actually asked about the progress of the Roselle by one of the girls from the Deli Almapaprika and I go to often.

The sub par spring also seems to be affecting the chillies, leading to a lot of uneven growth. One Royal Gold is on it's third set of true leaves, while the other is only just starting the second. And they both germinated on the same day.

The Trinidad Scorpion, the Madame Jeannette, and the Aji Umba Red lead the way for the chinenses, followed closely now by the Barrackpore 7-Pot; while the Ring of Fire Cayenne and the Thai Dragon are doing their usual thing now (growing fast).

Oh, and the Black Nagas are showing their first true leaves!

That last bit of news is absolutely fantastic for me.

It balances out the disaster of the home grown hydroponics...though I may have figured out what went wrong, but it is too late to fix...

Anywho, enough of my babbling.