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Pepper Ponderings

Since the original purpose of this blog was to chronicle our garden from season to season, I reckon it’s time to get along with the business of doing so.  There is such a variety of different vegetables that it really is essential to keep track of what has grown well, what hasn’t, what our family enjoys and what we probably won’t try again next season.   So with that in mind, it’s time to take a look at peppers.

All of our peppers have come from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds.com).  All of them have been started here from seed, hardened off, and transplanted into our garden.  In years past, I have utilized 5-gallon grow bags for our pepper plants.  This year I planted them into raised beds in the garden, and the jury is currently out on whether I want to continue this way in the future.

Since seed catalogs change from year to year, I’m going to list links and descriptions of the peppers I’ve planted, here:

Canary Bell Pepper
70 days. Superior sweet pepper, medium-sized, thick-walled green fruits ripening to bright yellow color. Sets early and produces all summer. Superb in salads, and a premier type for grilling. Exceptional flavor, very productive two-foot plants. Resistance to Tobacco Mosaic Virus.

Etiuda Pepper
75 days–Blocky, thick-walled orange fruits are crisp, very sweet and juicy. These golden-orange bells can reach up to a half-pound in weight, and are lavishly produced on tall plants. Originally a Polish commercial variety, Etiuda is equally at home under row cover, in the greenhouse or out in the garden. Lovely and very choice!

Golden Cal Wonder Pepper
78 days. Colorful golden bells that are very sweet and tasty. Gold peppers are superb for fresh eating, great for kitchen or market gardens. The productive plants produce early and are good for northern climates.
NOTES: Reviewers on rareseeds.com have mentioned that this pepper takes a long time to ripen to yellow, and I have found the same to be true for our plants, two years in a row now.  I may forgo this in favor of other, earlier-ripening yellow peppers for next season.

Golden Marconi Pepper
80 days. A late Italian pepper with beautiful, big, yellow, 7-inch tapering fruit that are very sweet and great for frying or fresh. This wonderful heirloom is delicious and mild. A great variety for market.

Italian Pepperoncini Pepper
The popular little, thin, pickling pepper. 3-5-inch fruit have a superb flavor and just a little heat. Small plants. This heirloom comes from southern Italy.

Jimmy Nardello Italian Pepper
This fine Italian pepper was grown each year by Giuseppe and Angella Nardiello, at their garden in the village of Ruoti, in Southern Italy. In 1887 they set sail with their one-year-old daughter Anna for a new life in the USA. When they reached these shores, they settled and gardened in Naugatuck, Connecticut, and grew this same pepper that was named for their fourth son Jimmy. This long, thin-skinned frying pepper dries easily and has such a rich flavor that this variety has been placed in “The Ark of Taste” by the Slow Food organization. Ripens a deep red, is very prolific, and does well in most areas.

King of The North Pepper
An exciting bell pepper for short-season growers. This variety produces nice, blocky fruit that are nicely flavored when picked green or red. Plants are productive even in most of the northern areas.
Notes: Perhaps I’ve just had poor luck with seeds, but for whatever reason this is the one pepper that has never germinated well for me.  I only have one plant this year, and it isn’t thriving as the few plants I’ve had in the past did.  Hopefully it will produce, as King of The North peppers are delicious!

Lilac Bell Pepper
75 days–Fruits are a stunning medium lilac-purple. Crisp, juicy, and sweet! What a lovely addition to a relish tray! Medium-sized fruits start out yellow-green, ripen to purple, finally to red.

Lipstick Pepper
70 days. A delicious pepper with 4-inch long tapered, pimiento type fruit that are super sweet. This fine pepper is early and ripens well in the north. A flavorful favorite with thick, red flesh.
Notes: This is one of my very favorite peppers to grow.  The fruits are quite tasty and the plants themselves are hardy and robust.  Our family enjoys them raw and grilled or sauteed.  This is a wonderfully sweet pepper that never fails to please.

Melrose Pepper
This is a superb heirloom frying pepper brought from Italy years ago. The 4-inch fruit turn brilliant red and start producing very early with flavor that is rich, flavorful, and very sweet. Great fried or fresh, a true Italian variety that seems to have been widely grown in the Chicago area. We have had many requests for this pepper.

Midnight Dreams Bell Pepper
75 days. Blocky four-lobed bells are the most amazing ebony-black we have seed in a pepper, amazing looking! The glistening, gem-like fruits are unusually thick walled, crisp and mild. Produced abundantly on compact plants that are very sturdy. A new favorite!

Oda Pepper
70 days–Very strong, compact plants cranks out tapered, pointed bells from early summer on. The fruits are the loveliest shade of plum purple, ripening to a lustrous red-brown. Crisp, juicy, thick-walled fruits are very sweet. The short stature make it a great choice for cloche- or low-tunnel production.
Note: We love these little peppers!  First place at SCOS Horticultural Show. Orange Bell Pepper
Super sweet, brilliant orange fruit are blocky with good-sized thick flesh that is flavorful and among the best tasting of all peppers. Plants produce large yields of this most magnificent pepper.
Paradicsom Alaku Sarga Szentes Pepper

80 days. One of the truly great Hungarian peppers. Yellow, flat, ribbed, pumpkin-shaped fruit have the tremendous flavor that peppers from Hungary are famous for. The flesh is very thick, crisp and juicy. This rare variety was collected at a farmers’ market in Matrafured, Hungary, but developed at Szentes, Hungary. A winning variety.Peperone di Cuneo Pepper
78 days. Tomato shaped sweet peppers in red and yellow. Very productive, thick-walled and fine flavored. From seed collected by Jere on his 2012 Italian trip. This variety was first mentioned in the 1915 “Market Bulletin” from the town of Cuneo, Italy. This is the local pepper of Cuneo, where it is still grown on a small scale to this day. We loved snacking on these as they have a most amazing, sweet pepper flavor. Very productive in our Missouri gardens.Purple Beauty Pepper
75 days. Purple peppers are always a favorite, as they are so colorful. This variety produces loads of beautiful bells on compact, bushy plants. Crisp texture and mild, sweet flavor makes this one popular with everyone. I even believe Peter Piper picked a peck of these purple peppers and I don’t blame him.

Quadrato di Asti Giallo Pepper

80 days. The giant yellow Quadrato bell pepper. The huge fruit are a favorite here. The largest variety we have grown, beautiful and blocky, with very thick walls; the flavor is outstanding–sweet and rich! This Italian variety gives very heavy yields; one of the best varieties for marketing. This superb pepper is a real winner!Sheepnose Pimento Pepper
70 days. Gorgeous cheese-type sweet pepper, ripening from green to red. The fruits are round, oblate, and stylishly ribbed—so pretty in the garden or on your table! Thick walled, crisp and juicy fruits keep an extraordinarily long time when refrigerated. An Ohio heirloom, so you know it’s a great performer in northern climates.Sigaretta De Bergamo Pepper

We offer here the esteemed “Cigarette Pepper” of Bergamo, Italy. The long, slender cigarette-shaped fruit are highly popular in salads, due to their great taste. It is also perfect for pickling and frying. A delicious and hard-to-find variety.
Sweet Red Stuffing Pepper

The brilliant red-colored version of our heirloom stuffing peppers which were given to us by an Amish grower. The seed was passed down from her Grandmother. Very productive plants, produce tiny bell-shaped peppers about 1″-2″ across.

Sweet Yellow Stuffing Pepper
This amazing little pepper comes to us from an Amish grower of Indiana. The seed was passed down to her from her grandmother, whom she fondly remembers growing these peppers in the 1950s in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The very productive plants produce the cutest little mini bell-shaped peppers, only 1-2 inches across! She uses these to make wonderful stuffed and pickled peppers!

Tam Jalapeno Pepper
70 days A very tasty mild Jalapeno type, with the same delicious flavor, but a lot less heat. Great yields.

Violet Sparkle Pepper
75 days—Pointed, wedge-shaped fruits are purple streaked with pale yellow. We originally received a few seeds of this variety from a Russian seed trader. Ripens red. Very lovely and delicious, sweet, crisp and thick-walled.