Monday, November 17, 2008

He said to beat them, so I did.

I am such a wannabe gardener. Even growing up with the typical small suburban backyard, my mom had quite a nice garden where we grew all sorts of things. It was such a great experience for us to unearth the radishes and green onions from the ground or pick a strawberry and pop it in our mouth straight from the vine.

Although I have tried my hand at a few other things (cucumbers, melons, strawberries, etc), I've recently just stuck to a few varieties of tomatoes and several containers of herbs. This year though I picked up a bell pepper plant to throw in the mix and was excited to see how it would turn out.

Shortly after we planted them, we hit a 90 degree day. Blossoms hadn't even formed yet, and I heard that this was sure doom for the tomato plants...making them bear little or no fruit. Jerry heard a guy on a gardening show say that you have to shock their system to get them to blossom. He recommended beating them with a tennis racket to accomplish this.

I can count how many times on one hand that I've touched a tennis racket since the days that Jerry and I took a class together in college, so I settled for the broom I had handy and went to whacking at them. I gave the bell pepper plant a good beating too, just for good measure.

Alas, it worked. I can't believe that in mid-November I am still picking tomatoes.

I had the girls with me in the backyard the a few weeks back and although Lily doesn't like tomatoes, she picked a small cherry variety from the bush and popped it into her mouth. She picked one for Jade too, who seemed to actually enjoy it. The girl hasn't met a food she doesn't like yet. The pepper plant had been confusing me...there always seemed to be both red and green peppers on it. I had read though that if you left the green ones on, eventually they'd turn into sweet red peppers. So, in keeping with the spirit I plucked a red pepper and bit off a chunk of what I thought would be a delicious sweet treat.

So NOT the case.

Don't beat your peppers, people.

I'm not sure if the beating transformed them into some sort of habanero pepper, or if I just picked up the wrong kind of plant at the store. I didn't realize that yapping on the phone with a friend while doing your vegetable shopping could be so dangerous. If only Lily could have had our Flip recorder in hand to catch the sheer pain that only my mouth experienced but that my entire body displayed...well, I'm sure it would have been at least on honorable mention on the funny home video show.

Being the good mommy that I am, I first told Lily not to touch or eat the peppers and then quickly ran inside to save myself any further neighborhood embarrassment. What to do? I drank water and that just seemed to intensify the pain and carry it further down my esophagus. I then remembered that eating bread or a cracker was supposed to help the situation.

That was a problem. At that point in time I was in the early stage of low-carbing it. Would this stinkin' garden pepper be my diet's demise? The things we do to ensure the continual dropping of pounds. I stuck it out. It took the better part of an hour for the stinging to leave my throat.

Anyone want some peppers? This one bush just keeps on producin'. They don't look like anything I can find on-line, so I'm scared the beating may have morphed them into some weird breed.

I haven't touched them since, but I'd be willing to grab a 10 foot cutting pole and gather some for you if you'd like to sacrifice your mouth for some good hot fun.

Do me a favor though...grab your video camera first...I don't want any of your winnings, I just want to get a glimpse of what I looked like hopping around the backyard that day. Be sure to have a baby on your hip for the full effect.


Rachelle said...

Bahahahahahaha...You should call my mom up and get her homemade salsa recipe. She loves to put hot peppers in!

Anonymous said...

Pretty funny. Hey, we grew some peppers that looked like those once. We picked them green because they were hot enough. I don't know what they were called. I'm not even a wannabee gardener. I just WANT a gardener! I can't believe you're still getting tomatoes! Where are you?

Sara@ Butterville said...

That pepper plant is kind of Christmasy! So you are telling me I need to BEAT my tomatoes to get them to produce? Huh! It takes forever and they don't ripen up here, but I'll try it next year. I won't do peppers. We do pea pods! YUMMY!

Colored With Memories said...

rachelle--i'm glad you got a good laugh...YOU were the friend i was talking to when i bought the dern thing!

domestic fringe--we're in texas.

sara-you're right, if i wasn't so scared of the plant, it would make a great xmas decoration. pea pods sound great!

Alana said...

That is just funny on so many levels! What a hoot.

"Don't beat your peppers, people."

Too funny!

Growin' with it! said...

excuse #99 why i don't eat all my vegetables!

poor thing.

Melissa :) said...

Hahaha! Sorry I missed it. LOL ;o)

I want a garden too. If you can, maybe I can? I don't think I have the time to maintain it though. :)

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

I don't mean to laugh at your expense, but... I so wish I could have seen your reaction.

I have never heard of beating your plants.

Faith said...

I have no idea if this is the case but sometimes they can be cross pollinated with another pepper plant that makes it more spicy. I have had that happen to some of my sweet peppers before, but there has to be hot pepper plants close by(in another yard maybe). Other than that, I have no idea, if they are indeed bell peppers. I couldn't tell from the photo but your story was funny and made me laugh!

Colored With Memories said...

faith-i've heard of that cross-pollination before. i may need to stick my nose over some fences!

i'm just surprised i didn't end up with spicy tomatoes...they're just a few feet apart.

Kate said...

Beating your plants with a stick is definitely one I have never heard of. You learn new things every day I geuss!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

I have NEVER heard of beating my plants...this cracks me up like you wouldn't believe.

I was so frustrated with my tomato plants this year...they refused to bloom, and then finally we started getting tomatoes in late July, which was so crazy. Then, in late October, when they were really starting to produce and we had tons of little tomatoes, then we had our first hard freeze. I was sooo mad. So yeah, I'm a wannabe gardender too. :)

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