Thursday, March 13, 2008

The mysterious Peppadew

The Peppadew

There is a lot of of mystery surrounding the Peppadew pepper. I am going to do my best to delve into the known facts about it.
The Peppadew is a trademarked name for a certain preparation of slightly sweet and slightly hot pickled bright red piquanté peppers from the Limpopo province of South Africa. Although the Peppadew-type pepper is sometimes described as a cross between a pepper and a tomato, this description is not botanically accurate, and refers only to the resemblance in color and size between the peppers and cherry tomatoes. A Peppadew pepper is a particular kind of capsicum, prepared in a particular way.

A copy and paste from their site:
Just a few short years back, businessman and farmer J.S. (he prefers to stay anonymous) was looking around the garden of his holiday home in the Eastern Cape in South Africa when he spotted an unusual-looking bush, standing head high, laden with small bright red fruit which looked like something between miniature red peppers and cherry tomatoes.

Fruit being picked

Gingerly, he bit into one. It had a unique, delicious taste – a mixture of peppery and sweet, but with a distinctive flavor. Rightly believing that he had hit upon something really new, he saved seeds from the ripened fruit of the mother plant , cultivated the seedlings, developed the secret recipe with which to process the fruit and gave the processed fruit the name PEPPADEW™ (they are obviously peppery but are as sweet and tantalizing as the dew).

Fruits going through cleaning process

Worldwide research, global registration of the trademarks, international sole rights to grow the plant commercially , the establishment of commercial farms in the bountiful farmlands of the Tzaneen area and the building of a special processing, bottling and packaging factory followed and now Peppadew™ Sweet & Spicy Fruits are being savored by discerning palates around the world - from South Africa, to Britain, Europe, Canada and as far away as Australia.

You will notice in their blurb, global trademark, international sole rights to grow the plant are mentioned. I know that the growers for the Peppadew are made to sign a contract that they could face prosecution for distributing seed outside of the company. The growing fields are
actually guarded. I don't know about the rest of you, but this all out war effort to control a variety or species of open pollinated fruit or veggie, makes me crazy. ( Not talking about hybrids that seed companies come out with). The fact that this company(Peppadew International) has gone to this effort to monopolize this pepper just makes me crazy and all the more determined to lay my hands on the seeds.
The fresh pepper is never sold anywhere. The peppers are distributed around the world with the seeds removed and in a brine. (No seeds, no pepper growing). Thus far, they (PI) has been very successful in keeping the seeds out of the hands of gardeners and farmers.
The bottom line: It is extremely thug like to try to prevent any person from growing a veggie that is naturally occurring in nature. To put it in perspective, image the outrage if a global company came out and said" we own all Sugar Maple trees and no one is allowed to grow them anymore) ???
Of course with my world-wide secret seed cartel, I managed to lay my hands on the seeds. I am growing 15 plants this year and it is my goal to put these seeds in the hands of every gardener I know. I have to say, of all seeds I have ever chased after, this was by far the hardest one to obtain. I knew Gardeners all over the world that couldn't get them. I am still getting emails from total strangers that are requesting the seeds. I did share what I had so there will be other growers though only a handful.
The chef at one of the restaurants I am supplying told me he would take ALL the Peppadews I could supply him at my price. That should give you an idea.
So, in closing I say "Peppadew International, take your monopoly and shove it up your ....."

Tomato Candles

Wow, my friend Cindy and her fiancee made these cool tomato candles. Red or green. I had her send me two of the green ones. Mmmm, they smell just like tomato plants. Good for the dead of winter when you are dying to smell the garden. They just started up their own candle business.
Cindy's Link:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Flowers I love in the Garden

I love to plant flowers amongst the veggies. It just adds so much.
My all time favorite has to be the Sunflowers. I like to plant them in groups of varying sizes and colors. There's just something about looking out in the morning and seeing them that puts you in a good mood right away. I think Sunflowers are happy flowers. This year I am adding the one in the pic, Teddy Bear. Love the name too.

One of my next favorites would be Hollyhocks.
They are so representative of old farmhouses to me. At one time they were grown to hide the outhouses. When guest's came to your house they didn't have to ask where the outhouse was, they just looked for the Hollyhocks.
Thomas Jefferson grew Black Hollyhocks. It's said it was his favorite flower after the Rose.
This year, along with my other Hollyhocks, I am growing a new one called a Zebrina Hollyhock.(Thanks for the seed Duane) Pictured here on the right. You can see the striking difference from the French Hollyhocks on the right. Just a nice old fashioned flower that reminds me of a time when things were simpler.

Then there's the Morning Glories. I love the way this flower opens to greet the sun. It' climbs on just about anything from a fence to a flag pole. This is not my pic by the way. It attracts Hummingbirds too which is a plus. This year I will be putting in a mix of different colors.

I have a bunch of new varieties I am trying out this year so I will keep you updated on the ones I liked the most.
I think flowers add so much to the garden it surprises me how many people never think to add them amongst there veggies.