The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Gardenist: Pick a Peck of Peppers

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Aug 23, 2007 6:30PM

2007_08_gardenist_peppers.jpgThe plants we've been watching with worry in our garden have been our pepper plants. We got a late start to this whole project (most everything was planted around Memorial Day) and our natural inclination leans toward impatience, which isn't the temperament to have when were waiting for a garden to grow.
That impatience morphed to outright frustration as we watched the tomatoes explode with rich, vibrant fruit.

A month ago, when we noticed the beginnings of peppers beginning to sprout from the plants, we celebrated with tempered glee. Once they began to sprout our major concern was the flies. Liberal spraying of the plants with a mixture of cayenne pepper and warm water alleviates this somewhat. Tiki torches do a better job, but we can't burn those 24/7.

Anyway, take a look at some of the peppers on the vine. They've grown to bear some hardy fruit. The two we did pick had a sweetness to them that we absolutely enjoyed. We used one for some grilled vegetables; the other we diced and made a mint salsa with the fresh mint we planted in early July. That mint plant was another welcome surprise. We didn't think it would produce more leaves because we bought it so late in the season. But it's a perennial that responds best to moist climates. If anything, the August rains have certainly provided that.