What a glorious spring! Having been blessed with generous snow and rain, the land is bursting with energy, greener than green, and flowering in kaleidoscopic exuberance! Migratory birds have been arriving or passing though our region this month, offering sightings of avian treasures like Lazuli Buntings and Western Tanagers, not to mention the hummingbirds. We do live in a wondrous world!
Heirloom 75-85 (60 days to green)
Corno Di Toro Giallo Pepper is a great old-time Italian sweet frying pepper. Nicknamed the “bull’s horn” for its distinctive horn shaped The fruits mature to rich yellow, 6 to 8″ long and 2” wide with delicious sweet flavor, thin skin and thick walls. They are ideal for stuffing, frying and grilling. The plants are very prolific.
Open Pollinated 80 days
An exceptional open pollinated variety developed in Poland. Vivid orange bell pepper, producing loads of blocky, thick-walled, juicy fruit with rich, very sweet flavor throughout the season. Earliest fruits can be very large. Almost candy sweet when fully ripe and the under-ripe fruit are also sweeter than most. Good leaf coverage, but a shade-cloth covering is still helpful to prevent sun-scald. Plants need staking because of the weight of the fruits!
Open-pollinated, Open-sourced, 80 Days
We’re thrilled to have this superb, early, high-performing sweet pepper available again! ‘Gypsy Queens’ comes to us from the work of Andrew Still & Sarah Kleager of Adaptive Seeds, the result of their effort at dehybridizing the classic standard hybrid “Gypsy”. It produces a profusion of elongated, tapered, bell-shaped fruits, which have excellent flavor & productivity. They start out pale yellow and mature to a warm sunny orange leaning towards red, Sweet, medium-thick flesh is great for eating fresh, and reliable plants tolerate heat, drought, as well as cool summers.
Open-pollinated, 75 days to green, 100 days to orange
The world’s first truly heatless Habanero! Bred by organic breeder Michael Mazourek, Habanada is the product of natural breeding techniques. These exceptional snacking peppers have all of the fruity, tropical and floral notes of the habanero without any spice (even the seeds are sweet and add to the flavor). Imagine the culinary possibilities (Habanada sorbet, anyone?)! The 2″-3″ long peppers are more tapered at the ends, and not blocky like the habanero, and are borne on attractive 24″ h x 18″ w tree-like plants that do well in large containers.
Italian heirloom 76 Days
Listed on Slow Food’s Ark of Taste. Thin-walled, 8″ long frying peppers on very heavy-yielding plants. Long, curved, tapering pointed fruits turn deep red with shiny, wrinkled skin when ripe. The wonderful sweet, mild flavor is good raw, in stir-fries, and especially fried. Brought to Connecticut in 1887 from Southern Italy by Jimmy Nardello’s mother.
Open Pollinated 70 days
Reliable yields of large sweet blocky bells turn from green to red; prolific yields even in short-season areas and cool climates.
Open-Pollinated, 90 Days
A breeding breakthrough from Doug Jones of Common Ground Ecovillage as he de-hybridizes Giant Marconi into a more compact habit while retaining the heavy early fruit set of 2½ x 9″ blunt-tipped, tender-skinned Italian-style Lamuyo peppers. Grown in an open field in central Maine without black plastic, it produced nearly a dozen fruits per plant in trials, 35% of them ripened red on the plants and were sweet and delicious with good texture when green, but mature even sweeter with a bit of a smoky undertone. Enjoy them cooked, grilled, or raw.
Heirloom, Open Pollinated, 90 Days
These little, thin-walled 1-2” bell peppers ripen to gold or red. They make colorful stuffed appetizers, and are great for pickling. Several of the short, stout, productive plants can be grown together in a large pot. Paradoxically, though small-fruited, they ripen fairly late.
55 days green, 80-90 days red
The perfect choice for those wanting the delicious and distinctive jalapeño flavors without the heat. This unique variety, bred by A. P. Whaley Seed Company, was developed by carefully selecting fruit with less heat but with all of the other characteristics of jalapeños over numerous generations. Attractive fruits grow 3″ long and ripen from green to red. The sturdy plants produce heavy yields and require no gloves for processing! Plants are short and robust, growing to 18-24” tall with lots of leaf canopy that helps shade the ripening fruit. Blossoms will appear singly at first, then in bunches, followed by ripening fruit. In fertile soil, production is prolific, often topping 20-30 fruits per plant.
Open-Pollinated 87 Days
An heirloom elongated sweet pepper from Odessa on the Black Sea in Ukraine with strong, stocky stems and unique dark green leaves easily set it apart from most others. It grows rapidly and dependably sets 7–12 fruits per plant, crisp, juicy, thick-walled and tasty. At the edible green stage, the 2¼ x 4½” tapered peppers have a distinct ‘wild lime’ color that rapidly morphs to orange and then to a deep dark red. Sweet and full-textured whether enjoyed raw, sautéed or roasted. Broad canopies with good leaf cover reduce sunscald. And fruits are remarkably free from blossom end rot.
Open Pollinated 70 -80 Days
This early and productive bell pepper bears up to a dozen thick-walled 6-8” tapered fruits; ripening from green to chocolate-brown with gorgeous burgundy flesh inside, really delicious rich flavor, and good juicy crunch! Eve’s favorite!
F-1 hybrid, 60 days
A very prolific and very early improved ‘New Ace’, easy to grow in short season areas. Resists blossom drop even in adverse weather so that almost every flower produces. Tasty, sweet fruits are medium-sized (~2 oz.), thin-walled, 3-lobed, have good flavor and turn red early, excellent for the home garden. Vigorous, spreading plants are abundantly productive. Resists tobacco and tomato mosaic virus
Heirloom, 80 Days
The New Mexican Native chile (Capiscum annuum), is known by the name of the community where has been grown for generations, and so is sometimes called the Chimayo, Dixon, or in this case, Velarde. Grown in northern New Mexico at 6,300’ elevation, on small plots of land, where for centuries it has been part of the local diet. This productive chile is mildly hot, typically about 4” long by 1 ¼” wide at the shoulders, with crinkly skin, and is eaten fresh, either red or green, and also dried whole in ristras, or ground into a coarse powder that forms the basis for regional sauces and other dishes. On Slow Food’s Ark of Taste!
Heirloom 70-80 Days
Extremely productive plants are loaded with 2-3″ round peppers with thick meaty flesh. They ripen from creamy-white to red. The flavor is sweet and delicious, with just a hint of warmth. One of the best for drying when red and then powdering for paprika; also great fresh.
Heirloom, Open Pollinated, Very Mild heat 70-80 Days
Also known as “Cuban pepper” and “Italian frying pepper”, Cubanelle is a variety of sweet pepper with just a touch of heat (-1000 on the Scoville scale), commonly used in Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican cuisines. When unripe, the 6-8” fruit is light yellowish-green, but turns bright red if allowed to ripen. Prized for its sweet, mild flesh, rich flavor, and pretty colors. Cubanelle is thin-walled, especially suited for quick cooking and has a low water content. Best picked when yellow-green for use in roasting, stuffing, pizza topping, frying, a substitute for Anaheims, or in a yellow mole, and is one of the traditional ingredients in sofrito.
Heirloom 70 Days
Sheepnose is a super-sweet heirloom pimento-type pepper from Ohio. The beautiful, thick-walled, crisp, juicy fruits ripen from green to red and are shaped like little pumpkins (or wheels of cheese, or the noses of sheep), flattened, ribbed globes, 3-4” diameter and 2.5-3” tall. They keep for a long time in the fridge, if you can resist enjoying them raw, on pizza, in pasta, casseroles, antipasto or salad, roasted, sautéed, etc. They are a classic sweet pepper for canning. Plants are small (1-2’ tall), easy to grow, and heavy-yielding. They can be grown in patio containers.
Open Pollinated 60 Days
This early, small, mild, thin-walled glossy green pepper is popular in Japan, where they are pan-fried and salted and served as an appetizer or side-dish. The thin walls blister and char easily when roasted or grilled, taking on a rich flavor that’s delicious with coarse salt and lemon juice! The fruits grow up to 3-4″ long. The plant has a spreading habit and produces very prolifically. The peppers are typically harvested and used green, but eventually turns orange and red with sweeter flavor. Shishito can be grown successfully in large containers.
Open Pollinated 85 Days
Not as hot as a typical Anaheim. High yields of 7” x 1” tapered fruits are great fresh, dried, roasted or pickled. From New Mexico.
Heirloom 65 days, longer to ripen red
Very popular! Large, deep green heart-shaped medium to mild chile, the standard for rellenos, mole, soups and salsa fresca. Most of the heat is found in the ribs and seeds. It is particularly popular during the Mexican independence festivities as part of a dish called chiles en nogada, considered one of Mexico’s most symbolic dishes by its nationals, and incorporates green, white and red ingredients corresponding to the colors of the Mexican flag. After being roasted and peeled (which improves the texture by removing the waxy skin), poblano peppers are preserved by either canning or freezing. Storing them in airtight containers keeps them for several months. When dried, the poblano turns black-red and becomes a broad, flat, heart-shaped pod called an ancho chile (meaning “wide”); from this form, it is usually ground into a powder used as flavoring in various dishes.
Open Pollinated, 60-75 Days
A brilliantly ornamental pepper from Mexico, Aurora’s compact, bushy plants are only 12” tall and wide, but they are lit up by dozens of pointy, upright, 1 ½” glossy fruits that look like colored Christmas lights! The peppers ripen from lavender to purple to orange and finally to red, creating an incredibly colorful show as they appear in all stages at once. Their heat measures from 30,00 to 50,000 Scoville units. The plant is perfect for container growing and the fruits make a beautiful salsa.
Heirloom, 80 Days
Hungarian heirloom brought in 1912 by the Joe Hussli family to Beaver Dam, WI, where it is celebrated annually at the Beaver Dam Pepper Festival. Yields enormous crops of mildly hot peppers on compact plants that will need support. Fruits ripen from lime-green to red-orange and are mildly hot when seeded. Horn-shaped fruit average 6-9” long and 2 ½” at the shoulder, tapering to a blunt point. Sweet, dynamic pepper flavor shines through the slow-building heat. Perfect eating raw, stuffed, in traditional goulash and other stews, and for pickling. Beaver Dam’s flavor and heritage warranted inclusion in Slow Food’s Ark of Taste. Beaver Dam pepper plants are sensitive to moisture and produce more fruits in dry conditions.
Heirloom 68 Days
Glossy fluorescent orange, thin-walled 1.5” – 3.5” tapered peppers are fruity and hot, borne in clusters near the main stem on a compact plant. Use in chutney, salsa, marinade, hot sauce, or dried and ground.
Heirloom, Medium hot, 65 Days 4,000 – 5,000 SHU
This famous New Mexico heirloom chile is from the farming town of Chimayo in northern New Mexico, at 5,900′ elevation. Its great flavor is the result of hand selection over hundreds of years. The 6-7” long fruit are probably the earliest Southwestern chile to ripen to red. They are thin-skinned and dry quickly in the sun. Allow the chiles to remain on the plant and mature until almost completely red. This native strain has fantastic red chile flavor and makes great chile powder and sauces for enchiladas, burritos, etc. At first it tastes sweet and then medium hot. Since it’s not too hot, you can use it in large quantities and achieve flavor nirvana, not heat nirvana. A Renewing America’s Food Traditions variety listed with the Ark of Taste as a threatened American food tradition.
Heirloom Open Pollinated 65 Days 2,000 to 5,000 SHU
Czech Black is an heirloom chili pepper from the Czech Republic. Very juicy 2 ½”- long peppers are the same shape as Jalapeno and have a great flavor. Plants grow 2 ½ 0 3’ tall. Black when immature, the stunning conical peppers ripen to lustrous garnet. Mild juicy thick-walled flesh runs with a cherry-red juice when cut. The heat, a tad less than a jalapeño, is in the ribs and seeds. One grower, in Maine, has candied slivered Czech Blacks like citrus peel for a spicy-sweet holiday treat. Bears very early with 20 pointed thick-walled peppers per 2½–3′ plant.
Open Pollinated 63-65 Days, 2,500-5,000 SHU
Early Jalapeno is a medium-hot pepper and the best Jalapeno variety for an early crop. The short, blunt 2 to 2.5” peppers are thick-walled and juicy. Early Jalapeno will reportedly set fruit under cooler conditions than other Jalapeno varieties. Red, fully ripe fruits are both slightly sweeter and spicier. The stocky 2-foot tall plants will not fall over or break branches.
Open Pollinated 80+ Days 3,000 to 5,000 SHU
Mirasol means ‘looking at the sun’, which describes the way these chile peppers grow on the plant. Conical pods grow upright 4-5“ long and 1/2” to almost 2“ wide on 18-24“ tall plants. They are one of the main chiles used in traditional Mexican mole sauces and very common in Peruvian cooking. This red/dark red pepper has thin skin and a unique spicy flavor that is compared to berries and other fruit, and moderate heat that is direct and very flavorful. Mirasol chiles are also commercially grown in S. Colorado, where they are known as Pueblo or Mosco peppers. When dried, they are known as Guajillo chiles, with dark, reddish brown, leathery skin. Guajillo chile blends very well with other chiles like Ancho, Mulato and Pasilla.
Heirloom, 72 Days 2,500 – 10,000 SHU
Perhaps the world’s best known, most versatile and most popular hot pepper, the Jalapeno pepper originated in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Smoked and dried jalapenos are called chipotles. The blunt, tapered, 3” by 1” fruits are usually used when dark green; they turn red (and hotter) when mature. They have thick walls and do not dry well as whole peppers, but are excellent for canning, pickling or used fresh in salsas and many other Latin American and Southeast Asian dishes. The plants are erect and sturdy and although very productive, generally do not require caging or other support.
Heirloom, 85 Days
Heavy yields of finger-width, thin-walled red peppers are great for fresh eating or drying and grow up to 12″ long on plants 2-3’ tall. Originally from Calabria, Italy, this variety circulated through the Italian-Canadian seed saving community in Toronto before being sent to Joe Sestito in Troy, New York. It was introduced to Seed Savers Exchange in 1996 by longtime member Dr. Carolyn Male.
Open Pollinated, original seed brought to Eve from Italy, 85 Days or longer
Unique, brilliant scarlet, small, pendant peppers shaped like flaring bells are gracefully borne mostly on the main stem of tall, exceptionally pretty plants. Flesh of the fruits is tasty and mildly piquant, seeds and ribs are hotter. Traditionally used to season pasta dishes, but they’re so ornamental, we recommend growing some for arranging in a vase too! If season is cut short, harvested green they will ripen to scarlet quickly indoors. We grow ours 2 to a big pot – some years the plants have reached over 5′ tall and born over 90 peppers!
Heirloom, Open-Pollinated, Mild heat, 76 days
A wonderful mild chile with sweet flavor. It has the heart or wedge shape of a Poblano but is slightly larger and sweeter. The 6” long x 3” wide fruit matures to a rich chocolate brown and is sometimes called chocolate poblano. Mulatos can be used in both the immature and mature stage, and uses include making rellenos, salsa, roasting, and drying. Dried Mulato is an essential ingredient in authentic mole negro sauce. Mulato Isleno is 3” wide and 6“ long. It has a distinctive sweet flavor and ripens from deep glossy green to rich dark chocolate brown. Fruits grow all season on sturdy 3’ tall plants. Heat Level: Mild Scoville 1,000 – 1,500.
Open-pollinated, 50-60 days (??)
Eve is always on the lookout for a pepper that has the same characteristics – beautiful bell shape, delicious fruity flavor, medium heat that doesn’t linger too long, and brilliant scarlet color – that were present in the original Lanterna Piccante that she has been growing and saving seeds for many years. Mushroom Red looks very promising! Mushroom has the same gorgeous bell-shaped fruit dangling from slender, curved stems; like Lanterna it ripens from lime green to scarlet, and is highly productive. The beautiful plants are perfect for growing in containers. At the end of the season, any unripe fruit will continue to ripen indoors, whether harvested or remaining on the plant, which can continue to grow indoors. Wonderful for fresh eating, salsa, in omelets, freezes and dries well, makes awesome pickled peppers and adds delicious zing to any dish.
Heirloom 70-80 Days
A New Mexico heirloom that produces long, smooth, pendant fruits with a mildly hot flavor that ripens green to red. Loves the hot days and cool nights of New Mexico and Colorado. Vigorous, compact plants have heavy foliage that prevents sunscald. Performs well in containers.
Open Pollinated 70 Days, 30,000 to 50,000 SHU
A twist on the classic Cayenne pepper, this exceptionally ornamental pepper is one of the hottest Cayennes, with excellent flavor. Elegant 2’ tall plants are covered with dozens and dozens of light purple blossoms which turn into dark purple, thin peppers about 3” long, a bit smaller than a regular cayenne, that eventually ripen to deep red. They can be used fresh, pickled, dried, or ornamentally, as hot pepper flakes, in salsa or hot sauce, and in countless Latin American, Indian, Caribbean, African and Asian dishes. Eve has enjoyed growing Purple Cayenne in a 16” diameter pot in her front yard.
Heirloom, 90-100 Days
This classic Caribbean red habanero is a fiery red variation on the common orange habanero. Fruits are extremely hot, measuring 40 times hotter than the Jalapeno! Three-foot tall plants produce enormous yields of small somewhat lantern shaped rippled peppers with a characteristic fruity flavor and aroma and average 1″ wide by 1 ½” long. Plants can grow to 2-3 feet and bear very heavily. As with most peppers, plants can be overwintered in warm areas or greenhouses for added production the following year.
Open Pollinated 85 Days
A dramatic and beautiful ornamental and edible hot pepper with dark purple (almost black) stems and leaves, and the flowers are violet. Grow in full sun for best color. Small, conical, up-facing hot peppers color from black-purple to red when ripe. Heat can measure from 5,000 to 30,000 Scoville units, varying from plant to plant and pod to pod. Plants are compact and bushy, growing to 2’ tall, and make spectacular patio container plants which can be over-wintered in the house or in a greenhouse.
Open Pollinated 85-100 Days
Early maturing, productive, mildly hot 7 x 1” high-quality fruits ripen from green to red. Often used green, fresh or pickled, or dried when red.
Heirloom 75-80 Days 500-750 SHU
Also known as Yellow hot chili pepper and Guero chile, the Santa Fe Grande chile pepper is a very prolific cultivar from New Mexico, typically producing 20 to 50 peppers. The pretty, conical, blunt fruits are about 2” long growing upright on 24” plants. They mature from pale yellow to bright yellow to orange-red with mild heat and slight sweetness. Works well either cooked or fresh for salads, salsas, pickling, and other dishes based on chile peppers. Resistant to tobacco mosaic virus.
Heirloom 85 Days
Originated in the mountains of Mexico. Plants are 2-3’ tall, and the 2.5-4” blunt peppers are about 5 times hotter than Jalapeno. Use fresh, no steaming or peeling required.
Heirloom, 85 days.
Imported to the US in 1846 from Tabasco, Mexico, this pepper made its way to Avery Island, LA, where the McIlhenny family used it in a hot sauce that became so popular and famous that now Tabasco sauce is synonymous with hot sauce. The 2”-long, tapered Tabasco is a very hot pepper, borne in copious quantities on a short, compact plant.