Peppers are native to South and Central America, and they come in an astounding range of flavors and levels of heat. Peppers get their heat from the chemical compound capsaicin. They can be a challenge to germinate, but once established will flourish in most gardens with a little fussing. Start seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost date. Peppers require heat, so a heat mat can be very helpful. Ideal germination temperature is 78-85 F. Seeds germinate in 7-21 days. Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep. It’s important to harden off pepper starts by acclimating them to outdoor temperatures before planting as they are very cold sensitive. Plants should be set about 18-24 inches apart, in full sun, after all chance of frost has passed and the soil has reliably warmed. Provide regular watering.
A multicolored sweet pepper and a beloved heirloom of the Philadelphia African American community of the early1900s. A delightfully ornamental sweet pepper that features purple flowers and fruit that transforms from dark purple, to mustard yellow and finally to a vibrant orange as it ripens. We can thank Philadelphia folk artist Horrace Pippin for this extraordinary pepper, as he shared his seeds with William Woys Weaver’s grandfather in the early 1940’s. History remembers Pippin as the first African American painter to be known for expressing his concern about war and social injustices in the themes of his art. His right arm was badly injured in battle during his service in WWI, and as the story goes, Pippin sought out bee sting therapy to alleviate his suffering. H. Ralf Weaver exchanged stings from his hive of bees with Pippin for the seeds of this pepper and other heirlooms that Pippin had collected. These heirlooms are considered heritage varieties of an African American community of the mid-Atlantic during Pippin’s time. A very rare and unique variety.
Pronounced (cho-dee-share-dow) A sweet frying pepper that is a traditional variety of the Basque people. This super rare and delicious pepper can be found growing across Europe’s Basque country; it is a key ingredient in Biscaya sauce and other delicious regional recipes. The thin-skinned, totally sweet peppers are traditionally strung into garlands and hung for later rehydration and use and can also be ground into paprika. Also excellent for fresh use, we love them raw in salads or blistered on the grill. This particular strain was brought to Boise, Idaho, over 50 years ago by Ben Goihiadia, whose family owns Peaceful Belly Farms. In the early 1900s many Basques emigrated to Idaho for sheep herding jobs, and now Boise is a “little Basque country” of sorts.