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Borderstan Candids: Harvest in a Heat Wave; But Peppers Are Thriving

by Borderstan.com July 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm 0

From Candida Mannozzi. You can reach her at candida[AT]borderstan.com.

"Harvest"

Hot peppers are thriving in the heat wave. You’ll appreciate them come winter. (Candida Mannozzi)

Is Borderstan ready to harvest? I know I don’t need to remind you that it’s HOT out there; a summer heat wave is upon us.  I’ve noticed less variety than usual at the farmers’ market, because many anticipated crops are struggling to ripen, or simply aren’t making it in the heat wave.

For instance, my favorite summertime legumes (the many different kinds of long and string beans) seem to be in very short supply this year. The news from across the country is sobering too: droughts, failed crops, herds at risk of being culled, anticipated shortages, and price hikes.

Thriving in the Summer Heat Wave

This has made me doubly excited to see the miniature Thai hot peppers on my deck turning to their bright red “pick me now!” color, in the past week or so. The plant is flourishing in the searing temperatures. I enjoy seeing the tiny peppers turn from dark green to orange to fire engine red. As I lay them out to dry, they look like a pixie’s duffle-coat buttons.

After harvesting them, I have fun stringing them up in my kitchen, making their festive mark on the place and giving me the feeling a mariachi band will burst through the doors at any moment. At the risk of being excoriated by the purists, I confess I grind them into my guacamole and they give it just the right kick! Humor this Latino-Asian fusion, will you?

I look forward to the many winter stews I’ll spice up with their fire, the tomato sauces that will get an extra kick from these little peppers, the separate bottle of olive oil I’ll cure with a couple of them, to drizzle over pizza or focaccia. I imagine all the outdoor heat they’ve stored in their flesh and seeds, to be released in the dishes I’ll make once the temperatures plummet back down to a wintery “shiverrrr” from the summer heat wave.

So, as I make my tiny, urban harvest in this summer heat wave, I imagine a time when I will actually be asking for more fire. Thanks to my Thai peppers, I’ll have the means to access it. Happy harvest and late summer, Borderstan!

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