Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chile peppers - back to the future

If you love to grow chiles and eat Mexican food, you will want to know about New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute. They have cleaned up the ‘Big Jim’ and ‘6-4’ chile varieties to yield 10 percent more and have 20 percent more flavor! The resulting heritage varieities are what these chiles used to be like before seed lines wandered off type. The fruit grown from CPI’s seed more closely resembles the flavor many may remember from years ago – and higher yield is an added bonus.

Do you have trouble maturing chiles in your shorter growing season area? You will be interested in NuMex Espanola Improved, a variety adapted to fewer days to maturity growing.

See the CPI Shop 2010 catalog for seeds as well as books and posters. Note also that they carry more than just chile peppers. Sweet, paprika, jalapeno, Cuban, Caribbean, ornamental and many other types of pepper seeds can be found in their colorful catalog pages. Pepper enthusiasts can also get the T-shirt and salsa.

CPI’s online catalog is fun to browse even if you have no thoughts of growing peppers this season. Before you know it you may just find a pepper that you have to try in your garden.

Photo credit - Caged pepper plant- Carl Wilson

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