A war has been raging this summer. Legion upon legion stand at attention in rows of piquant fury, unwavering and steadfast. Their goal: to oppose the will of their creator, anarchy of the spiciest variety. All attempts for control, for submission and rule are futile: Nature will not withdraw.
To turn down the epic dial a tad, what I’m referring to is the battlefield that is Vesta Farms this summer. My dad, creator of Vesta and avid chile farmer, has fought valiantly all summer to instill order to his rows of various chiles…but to no avail. Hybrids have formed, cross pollination is as strong as ever, and our maps for “farm clarity” were documented in vain…these plants are relentless! There’s also been the steady reinforcements of devastatingly dumb dogs, impersistent rains, prehistoric-sized bugs, and irrationally rude neighbors.
It’s not a complete loss, we have TONS of fiery peppers to keep the Vesta flowing like wine thru the year, but my old man’s dreams for a farm lined with Ghost Chile plants has again been thwarted by Mother Nature’s desire to rebel. Here’s what’s growing this summer on Vesta Farms:
Thai Chiles, a welcome surprise and strong survivor, the only one to make it thru the initial assault.
Italian Cayenna, (title pic) an imported rookie to the fields. Side Note: If you’ve ever seen an Italian wearing a gold chile around his neck – this is the guy. It’s meant to ward off the malocchio or “evil eye”. I’ve had one on since ’06 just in case…
Rasta Scotch Bonnets, this one’s sporting his homelands natty dreads.
Jalepenos, an easy to grow and reliable chile used in our Hot variety of Vesta.
Plump Habaneros, possibly Chocolate Habaneros, are among the most prized chiles. If they’re Chocolates, an incredibly fruity variety, they’ll make it to the trophy case and be used sparingly.
Last year’s unwelcome “Hybrids”, an underwhelming cross between scotch bonnets and devil’s tounge chiles.
Habaneros, short and stubby with a punch to match.
And finally the crown jewel, the general of indigenous forces: The Ghost Chile or Bhut Jolokia. We have two varieties growing currently. The first is a certified seed from the University of Arizona (the bright green above) that looks as dangerous as it tastes. The other was grown from last year’s seeds (the larger red above) which we fear have crossed with our habaneros.
In short, this agro-assault has turned into a farm-fresh orgy. Everyone’s partying with everyone else, including the sketchy weeds who snuck in thru the back door, and the garden has become an uncontrolled sexual science experiment. You’ve won again Mother Nature, rematch next year.