The garden is a Memorial Garden, a garden of benevolence, a garden of love. It is a gift to our community from the God of Love, Jesus the Christ. The first “seeds” for our garden have come from members of the congregation and a designation from the congregation’s memorial funds. These seeds have brought us to the beginning of a journey that will last for many years. Guided by the Holy Spirit we will plow forth until row upon row of our work is accomplished and our community is better nourished. The Lord invites you all to be part of His work on earth strengthening and feeding His children. The garden is made possible by generous donations from the community, and grants from the Alaska Food Policy Council through the Municipality of Anchorage, the Alaska Women's Giving Circle, generous support by the congregation of Lutheran Church of Hope, and support from the Alaska Synod of the ELCA.

Food from the garden in 2018 was sent to Lutheran Social Services Food Pantry, the Tudor Road Gospel Rescue Mission, and to Bean's Cafe.

Friday, December 15, 2017

How Hot Are They Really

The peppers that I'm growing in the house are actually pretty mild as hot peppers go. I guess I should say something about how hot peppers get their rating. There are chemicals in the peppers that activate the pain receptors in the mouth. These chemicals are called capsaicin.  It is one of many related active components found in chili peppers, collectively called capsaicinoids. The Scoville scale, created by Wilbur Scoville, it used to rate pepper "hotness". The scale goes from 0, bell peppers, to about 2.5 million, dragon's breath. I couldn't find a usable picture of dragon's breath to post here, sorry. Suffice it to say when they get up that high they are really hot.

Of the ones I planted the poblano or ancho is the mildest. It's rate from 1,000 to 2,500. These are the peppers generally used to make chili rellenos in Mexican restaurants. They can be very tasty. Next on the heat scale are the jalapenos. They go from about 2,500 to 6,000. Most people are familiar with this variety because they are used extensively in nachos. The yellow wax peppers are very mild when they are harvested in the pale green stage. They might even rate lower than the poblano at this stage in their life. When they become a bright yellow they are about the same as a ripe jalapeno. When they get orange or red they are about 10,000 on the scale. That's nearly twice as hot as a ripe jalapeno. However, as peppers go they are all quite mild.

Hungarian Yellow Wax
The question usually arises, why are some peppers of the same species hotter than others? The answer is that it depends mostly on the weather. Dry hot weather tends to make peppers spicier. Cool, wet weather makes them more mild. The next question people ask is, can you do the same thing in a greenhouse or other location? The answer is yes. You have to stress the plants when they begin to bloom. The only way to stress them is to deprive them of water. Let them generally dry out until the leaves begin to wilt. Once this has occurred you can water them vigorously again and the crop should be hotter. 

My sample plants are very small in number but I want to see if I can make a significant difference in spiciness by stressing a couple of the plants of each type of peppers I am growing. I may have to get some assistance from my friends if anyone is interested.

I will keep you posted on the results.

No comments:

Post a Comment