Don’t just read this post, listen to it and experience the combination of sound and text!
It’s simply amazing to grow your own chilies. Normally you just go to the nearest supermarket, pick the most beautiful individuals from the boxes, weigh them, pay and then just add them into your spicy chili meals. But when you really have invested something into growing your own bunch, the taste and feel is different. You appreciate your ingredients much more at this state – you are enjoying your own sacrificed time, care and effort.
But why grow something? I guess that we all have this internal need for care and success, which can be fulfilled through many paths. We want to see our own concrete actions turning into something beautiful, strong and good. I don’t grow these chilies only because I want chilies. I also want to show that I can take care of them, nurture them and make them strong. You might feel weird at this point and think: “Doesn’t this sound like growing children?” Well, yes. But at this stage in life, chilies are enough!
For many years I have tried, failed and occasionally succeeded in my farming ordeal. I have grown classic red chilies, jalapeno, lemon drop pepper, Carolina reaper and some other types as well. I am so mad that last time the Carolina reapers failed! We had a very bad summer here in Finland and they would have required a couple extra months to reach the point, where I could have tried them. For anyone out there who doesn’t know how hot Carolina Reapers are, check this challenge video by Good Mythical Morning out!
Anyway, new year, new farming task. This year I didn’t focus on any one type of chili and instead took the “lazy route”. I just bought this variety box of chilies from the closest supermarket so that I would get a lot of seeds that are fresh. I don’t know why, but for some reason I prefer to even get the seeds out by myself instead of buying a bag with dried seeds within! So yeah this box contained the likes of:
- One Habanero
- One Jalapeno
- Three Classic Chili (Orange, Red & Green)
How to start growing these bad boys then? You just need a knife, preferably a small one, and a container with some paper in it to get the moisture out of the seeds. I just simply cut the peppers open and scraped the seeds out gently so that they wouldn’t break. Gather all the seeds into the paper-bottomed box and there you go, simple! Give the seeds some days to dry, I would throw a wild guess that about a week should be just great. Don’t the peppers below just look amazing? It would be a real shame if we just threw them into the garbage after collecting the seeds, so I will share a great recipe of a “Chili Gardener’s Salsa“, which is just perfect with a variety of foods & snacks!
Right, so now the seeds are all set! In Finland we have a very limited time during which farming of chilies is optimal – if you don’t have some heat-lamps of some sort. Planting during March and early April should do the trick!
As a cheap student with some tricks up his sleeve, it’s easy to find some great platform on what to sprout these! All sorts of milk or juice cartons are great, preferably the bigger the better though. Just cut them vertically, so that you end up with two about same sized 0,5 liter halves where you can put the soil and seeds in! Lets throw some soil in there, add some moisture and throw all the seeds in and leave them in the sunlight. Check the picture below to see how I made my sprouting-platforms!
I really suggest that you give home-farming a go! Pretty much all vegetables, herbs and other plants are just as easy to sprout. Sure, it’s not “cool”, but it’s your own amazing little home experiment, which makes you surprisingly inspired about and interested in plants. It may be that you need a mindset shift here, think of it as a test about how capable you are of growing something. You will get addicted.
Fingers crossed, lets hope for a great summer so we could get some amazing self-grown chilies!
Check out my “Chili Gardener’s Salsa“- recipe, that I made from the chilies after removing the seeds!