Snow may still be on the ground outside but the excitement happening on our window sill is a true reminder that Spring is close! In mid-February, we used a Jiffy Professional Greenhouse kit (see last week’s post) and planted seeds from a Bhut Jolokia pepper, otherwise known as the Ghost pepper. The first seedlings started emerging just last week on our upstairs south-facing window sill, right here in the marketing department!
So what’s the big deal about Ghost Peppers? According to The Chile Pepper Institute, ”The Bhut Jolokia pepper remains the hottest commercially available pepper.” The big deal here at Valley Natural Foods is taking on the challenge to successfully grow Ghost peppers right here in Minnesota—not the ideal place to grow them, we’ve been told, because of our short growing season and climate. However, there’s strong staff interest in this very fragrant, very tasty pepper. According to our produce manager, Kim Dvorak, customers have been asking about the Ghost pepper as well.
The actual seeds used for our initial planting were saved from 1 single Ghost pepper that was purchased two seasons ago from one Minneapolis Farmer’s Market grower who did have success! Our community relations developer, Gary Johnson, has started a second round of seeds that were purchased online from The Chile Pepper Institute.
Gary will be overseeing our Garden Classroom and our Co-op community Gardens, and, along with staff, will be transplanting the seedlings as soon as our soil has warmed up. Stay tuned for future postings about the progress of our Ghost Peppers!