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Food & Wine Ground >> my yearly gardening thread


3/25/08 1:44 PM
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MikeZev
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Edited: 25-Mar-08
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so lets hear what you've got goin this year. I moved and now have a backyard so i'm growing a lot more this year. I've got 22 different kinds of chile plants (courtesy of New2MMA) prolly do 8 kinds of heirloom tomato, bout 3 or 4 herbs, strawberries and might try some sweet red corn for shits and giggles. all organically grown in containers. I'll list varieties and post pics when i get stuff planted in a month or 2. www.chileplants.com
3/25/08 6:31 PM
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Kevin Curtis
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Edited: 25-Mar-08
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Waiting for the snow to melt before I even start thinking about what veggies I'm going to try growing this year.
3/26/08 9:55 AM
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MikeZev
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Edited: 26-Mar-08
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BOOOO!
3/26/08 10:10 AM
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Kevin Curtis
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Edited: 26-Mar-08
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Hey... at least I kept your thread on the top :) Probably end up doing tomatoes, snow pea pods, basil, bell peppers, cukes, lettuce
3/26/08 10:32 AM
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MikeZev
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Edited: 26-Mar-08
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see, now was that so hard??
3/26/08 4:36 PM
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MetaDevil
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Edited: 26-Mar-08
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Watch the strawberries. My mom is pulling up runners everywhere on the lawn now.
3/27/08 10:06 AM
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dennisv
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Edited: 27-Mar-08
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I plan on doing basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, chives, a couple kinds of chiles, okra, squash, cucumbers, peas and beans. Maybe some other stuff, I'm still about 2 months out.
3/27/08 10:25 AM
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MikeZev
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Edited: 27-Mar-08
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^nice. i forgot- I'm gonna try watermelon too.
3/27/08 1:09 PM
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scab1
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Edited: 27-Mar-08
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We have rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano and chives for perennials going year round. Annual herbs are cilantro, basil, and parsley. For vegetables, an all purpose type "Ace" variety tomato, a mini bell pepper, jalapeno, carrots, Blue Lake beans, and mixed small lettuces are already planted in containers from seed and transplants. We're still waiting on a cherry tomato plant and large enough container for the Yukon Gold potatoes.
3/28/08 5:55 PM
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bigwilly
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Edited: 28-Mar-08 06:01 PM
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MikeZev, chileplants.com is a great resource, i just order four different chile types, 12 plants total,
3/31/08 10:46 AM
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MikeZev
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Edited: 31-Mar-08
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awesome place. the actual nursery is about an hour from my house, i'll be making my trip in a few weeks!
4/1/08 4:49 PM
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Basz
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Edited: 01-Apr-08
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My number one goal this year is watermelons. I also planted a nectarine tree. Hopefully they will grow so I can post pics
4/7/08 4:45 PM
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MikeZev
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Edited: Apr 7 2008 12:00A
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 ttt

4/8/08 2:09 AM
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Moke
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Edited: Apr 8 2008 12:00A
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Ha, I happened to take a couple shots of my chili plants today. The small one is a genuine Hawaiian chili plant, and the large one is a Thai chili plant that I had gotten started months earlier to carry me over (the hawaiian seeds were harder to get ahold of and harder to get started). But she's on her way now...


 

And here's the Thai, already have chilis coming in... 

4/8/08 9:40 AM
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Moke
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Edited: Apr 8 2008 12:00A
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Wow MikeZev, thanks for that link, it's awesome!

They even have the Hawaiian varieties. I wasn't even aware that people outside of Hawaii recognized it. I assumed they just thought it was probably close enough to other species so as not to bother categorizing it. Not only do they list it but they carry the seeds! I may get some from them eventually if I ever lose this plant. When I was a kid, it seemed everybody had them in their yard for their personal use, but now it seems nobody has them...at least no one I know, nor any yards I can see (to raid). It will be ironic if I have to order it from a mainland website.

4/8/08 11:21 AM
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MikeZev
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Edited: Apr 8 2008 12:00A
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 moke that nursery is probably #1 in the world for chile peppers. literally. the place is awesome, I'll take some pics when i go next month. I'll def pick up a hawaiian seedling or two since they're coming reccomended.

 

 

and handsomejaws, i did cherokees last year and didnt have good luck. the bottoms get getting brown spots on them. very thin skin. do you have any experience with them? any suggestions for me?

4/8/08 4:57 PM
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MikeZev
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Edited: Apr 8 2008 12:00A
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 yup. all containers. gave them good drainage though. i guess.

4/8/08 10:00 PM
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Moke
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Edited: Apr 8 2008 12:00A
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Mike, I'm not saying the Hawaiian ones are any better than any other. It's just that, that's what I grew up with and the flavor I am used to for making certain things. So I can't really make certain things taste authentic without them...and it's the "wild" and "Kona red" versions that look to be the authentic ones.


4/8/08 10:49 PM
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bigwilly
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Edited: Apr 8 2008 12:00A
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Moke

which ones do you use for Pepper Water?

could you post a recipe?
4/9/08 8:52 AM
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Moke
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Edited: Apr 9 2008 12:00A
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The ones that are the "wild" and or "Kona red"...

They are short and don't have a sharp tip to them like a lot of other varieties do. When they ripen they go from green to a yellowy orange to red. At the orange or red stage they are ready.

For chilipepper water...well, I'll tell you the classic recipe like my dad used to do it, and then the way I tend to do it (because I don't have very good success with the classic way and I'm not sure where I'm going wrong).

The classic way:  Get a bottle ready, like a large empty wine bottle. Wash it thoroughly and let dry. Then take a pot of water (a little more than enough to fill the wine bottle) and slowly boil it for ten minutes (sterilizing).

At this point when you turn off the heat, you can add your Hawaiian sea salt (I've used kosher salt when sea salt was unavailable). A normal sized wine bottle will be taking roughly a heaping tablespoon of salt (make sure it's sea salt or kosher salt...table salt would be horrendous), so start with that (if you have more water than the bottle will take, you will be needing more salt obviously). You'll have to keep swirling it around to get the salt to disolve, but it's easier when the water is hot.

You want to end up with a saltiness that pretty much matches the saltiness of the ocean. It should taste like a mouthful of ocean water, but not any moreso.

Set that aside and wash your peppers and pinch off the stems. You don't want any portion of stem on there. You're going to use a good sized handful. Put enough in the bottle to cover the bottom 2-3 inches. The next part is optional...you can add a garlic clove here if you like. I tend not to do it because it gives it a darker flavor, and I prefer a bright salty hot freshness. When the water has completely come to room temperature, fill the bottle and cap it.

Traditionally, this is where it would just be set aside to age for months...a month minumum before even usable (the chilis will initially float, but when they have all sunk to the bottom that's a good indicator that it's at it's earliest use date), but like wine, the longer the better. However, this is where I always fail. For some reason when I do it this way, it always goes bad and the water gets cloudy as something is growing in there. Not good. The water should be crystal clear except for the red tint of the chilis breaking down and releasing their essence.

I used to watch my dad do it and it was always perfect. I don't know why. I think he just had the feel down pat. Experience.

So then, this is my cheat version: I do all the same things getting the bottles and water ready as well as the salting. THEN, I simply get a mortar and pestle and grind about 10 or 20 chilis and stuff the mulch into the bottle (you will need far fewer chilis this way). When the water is cooled, fill the bottle, put the cap on, and stick it in the fridge. Gently shake it up a few times a day for a few days just  enough to spread things around and you will see the water get redder (though don't excpect the water to be as clear like the above version). After a few days it's good to go. But like the other, the older it is, the better...and keep it in the fridge. In the fridge it will last forever.

The classic recipe never had to be kept in the fridge. One day I will figure it out and will go back to doing it that way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4/9/08 9:25 AM
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MikeZev
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Edited: Apr 9 2008 12:00A
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Moke - 

Mike, I'm not saying the Hawaiian ones are any better than any other. It's just that, that's what I grew up with and the flavor I am used to for making certain things. So I can't really make certain things taste authentic without them...and it's the "wild" and "Kona red" versions that look to be the authentic ones.



 well, i'm always looking to try new stuff out. we'll see how they grow in jersey..

4/9/08 9:37 AM
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Moke
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Edited: Apr 9 2008 12:00A
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I brought seeds with me to LA before and grew them on my balcony, and they grew like motherfuckers. You should have no problem. But in Jersey like LA, I guess they will only see one growing season and then you have to start over again each year, because even in LA they couldn't handle the winter.


4/9/08 11:15 AM
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bigwilly
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Edited: Apr 9 2008 12:00A
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Thanks Moke,

those little bush chiles can take your head off
4/9/08 12:07 PM
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MikeZev
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Edited: Apr 9 2008 12:00A
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 yeah my growing season is from may to october

4/9/08 10:30 PM
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Moke
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Edited: Apr 9 2008 12:00A
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"those little bush chiles can take your head off"

 One time while in LA where I worked  we also had these half dozen, old, round, Mexican grandmas working there that would sit around gossiping in Spanish all day. When lunch rolled around, they'd bust out a whole buffet of Mexican food they'd brought. Early on, they jokingly tried to get me by having me eat a jalapeno. When I ate it with no problem, they were stunned but happy. I was part of their little clan now. But they didn't realize I had a sense of humor too. I told them, "Oh yes, in Hawaii we use chilis too, and I even have some chilis growing at my place. Do you guys think you could handle it?"

They all laughed hard and thought I was just so silly. Of course they could handle it, bring it on! So I brought a handful of Hawaiian chilis the next day and gave it to them. I watched as they each popped one in their mouths, all smiling like they were going to just nonchalantly chew and eat it. Within about two seconds of chewing, their eyes got super watery and red and they all became distressed. I was LAUGHING MY BALLS OFF.

They were fanning their mouths and stuffing their mouths with anything they could find to help dissipate the heat.

 

 


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