[gardeners] Chiles

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 23 Jul 2003 18:37:16 -0500

Just came in from the chile garden where I picked about four quarts of 
chiles to make hot sauce this fall. The Aji Limon de Peru are really 
producing a lot of the chrome yellow chiles. Most are about two inches 
long and almost an inch in diameter, except that they are flat and not 
round. I made a hot sauce just from the Aji's last year and it is 
probably the best I ever made, really good flavor and just hot enough to 
make it interesting.

The other prolific chile for the moment is a Maroccan one that Margaret 
Lauterbach sent me a year or two ago and that I just got around to 
propagating this year. Chiles are similar to a cayenne except the fruit 
points straight up as it grows and is extremely hot, had to come in and 
put my surgical gloves and mask on as picking them was making me cough. 
The chiles are about three to four inches long and about 1/4 to 3/8's of 
an inch around. I even had to wear my mask while I was washing them in 
cold water because I was coughing again.

The New Mexico ristra chiles aren't producing well this year but the 
chiles are really nice and fat. My Longhorns are as prolific as ever and 
I pick about two quarts a day of them green for table use and have just 
started letting them ripen red for sauce making.

Here's the kicker: the chiles are planted in a strip three feet wide by 
twelve feet long on the hill by the peach tree. They are in shade except 
for about two hours a day and are producing more than they ever did out 
in full sun. In this 36 square foot strip there are fourteen plants, 
fairly crowded together but healthy and thriving. As this is the west 
side of the house and they are protected by brick on two sides (houses 
are about 12 to 14 feet apart here) and the prevailing southeasterly 
breeze funnels down through that area they seem to do well there so will 
plant them in the same place next year.

Sleepy Dawg has quit mourning for her "mom" but still goes to the front 
window about dark to see if she is coming down the street. At night she 
sleeps on Miz Anne's pillow and I cover her with a tee shirt Miz Anne 
wore for a few hours the day before she left and Sleepy sleeps 
contentedly through the night now instead of getting up to go to the 
door when she hears a car go down the street. Dogs are funny people 
aren't they.

Talked to Miz Anne this morning and she seems to be existing on crab 
cakes, crab stuffed seafood, and anything else with crab meat in it and 
sounds happy to be with her mother. They both were very animated on the 
phone so reckon they're having a good time.

Life is good.