Tags: Capturing Beauty's Rainbow Challenge, confusing cultivars, growing hot peppers, hot jalapeno pepper, jalapenos, learning curve for organic gardening, mild jalapeno pepper, mistakes, organic gardening, the cost of a Victory Garden, the Victory Garden
Remember when I was telling you the saga of the jalapeño pepper plants? How I had one, and then it didn’t make fruit in spite of blooming its little heart out, and so I got another plant, because maybe you needed a pair to get proper pollination — in spite of everything I’d read, and then the first plant made tons of peppers before the second plant could produce a single flower, thus shooting my theory in the foot?
And also thus meaning I’d probably wasted a few bucks. (I’m convinced lack of knowledge is what makes new gardeners claim organic gardening is an expensive proposition.)
Yeah. Well, I didn’t waste a red cent.
I bought a different plant the second time around. And it was a wonderful “mistake” to make.
The peppers from the first plant were so mild. Oh, they had a jalapeño flavor — but no heat, or the barest hint of it. We were disappointed. Especially F. was disappointed because, as I’ve mentioned before, he likes spicy stuff. (Maybe partly why he’s into me?) I’d assumed this lackluster heat was due to my poor gardening skills, or perhaps the fact that I had decided to grow this pepper in a medium-sized container by the front porch — until I spoke with my brother-in-law, that is.
My brother-in-law just happens to be an award-winning chili chef. He knows his jalapeños. He informed me that there were two kinds of jalapeños, and that I might have accidentally planted a mild one. The label was no help. It only said “jalapeño” in both cases.
But sure enough, although they look virtually identical, the second plant produced spicy, zingy, alarm-bell-for-the-palate wonders as unlike the original peppers as it is possible to be — once again proving the notion that you cannot judge a book by its cover. It’s as bad an idea in the kitchen garden as it is in life.
I think it also says something wonderful about our mistakes being transformed into delightful surprises down the line. That could be the lingering influence of the hot jalapeño affecting my thought process. Yet it could also be an accurate summary of my life thus far.
(p.s. This lovely photo will end my participation in Capturing Beauty‘s Rainbow Challenge with Green. I have really gotten a lot out of it. I photographed the garden in a new way under its influence. I’d try another challenge any day. Maybe not for a whole month — but I think for R-O-Y-G-B-I-V to properly enter our consciousness, that challenge did need an entire month — and I didn’t even start until like halfway through it. I’m probably going to take a wee break from giving myself any challenges and go back to posting whatever I feel like. Thanks to Pip for the ride, though. It was fun!)