In the garden, cause and effect are stretched out temporally; a mistake or mislabeling I made in April or May can rear its head in July or August. Case in point: our tomatoes and peppers. I can barely write about our tomato travesty because it makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. Ok, that is probably a little too extreme a description, but its something on par with that level of emotional intensity.
In the early spring we seeded six varieties of tomato in the Biolabs greenhouse. Our crown jewel tomato from last season was the Sungold Cherry, a variety loved by volunteers and visitors that produced incredibly vigorously from mid summer to late fall. This season, we planned to double the number of sungold plants. Yet somehow, in the hustle and bustle of seeding (which unfortunately coincided with midterms, as planting coincides with finals– academics and farming schedules do not mix well) the tomato labels were mixed up- or rather, it was hard to tell where one variety stopped and another began. We made due with what we had, and I transplanted based on intuition. we planted a 4 x 8 and a 4 x 4 full of sungolds and green zebras, then later removed a few plants from the 4 x 8. Unfortunately, all tomato plants look identical to me at the seedling stage– maybe in the future i’ll develop some sixth variety-differentiating sense?– and so what I judged to be our sungolds turned out to be green zebras. Come late July, I realized that out of the thirty to forty sungold plants we had seeded, only one remained in the garden to come to fruition. One. Measly. Sungold. the injustice of it all!
Now, I’ve been trying to figure out the difference between what I know are either serrano del sol chile peppers and el jefe jalapeño peppers.
el jefe jalapeno
I suppose, though, that the end product is roughly similar for both. We also have some mysterious low-lying bushes of sweetish peppers that are starting to turn red, but have a distinctly different look than our sweet salad pepper bushes. Is a pepper a pepper a pepper? I suppose we’ll have to wait and see. For now, we just have to make sure we don’t let anyone chomp into a hot pepper labeled as a sweet pepper. Ouch.