20 April 2010

Power of the Pepper

I mentioned before about harvesting ornamental pepper seeds, and my friend, Darren, wrote about how hot peppers can get here. And I've read things like don't touch your eyes nose or mouth after handling peppers. I've always had a hard time believing that, but no more.

The morning of the plant swap I was looking at everything I had in the driveway. including the dead ornamental pepper. I squeezed one of its dried fruits to see if I could get any seeds out of it. It broke open and some seeds fell out. At that point I decided that I would collect these soon. A little while later, I started to notice that the outside edge of my nose was starting to burn - I couldn't figure it out. Then it occurred to me that I touched the pepper and then touched my nose. I was really surprised by this.

So when it came time to harvest all the seeds, I was ready. I sat down with the fruit on a paper plate and got all the seeds out. As I'm breaking open all of this dried fruit, my eyes and nose feel like they're about to water - I wasn't sure if it was real or I was imagining it. Once I was finished, I put the seeds in a small envelope, scooping them up with tab and letting them fall inside.

Despite what happened before, I still had a hard time believing how potent peppers could be. I dared to lick the glue and seal the envelope. It turned out to be pretty hot and still quite unexpected. After my experiences the past couple of weeks, I have learned to respect the power of the pepper.

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