Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New crop for me

For the last few years I have been growing hot peppers to get some of my tax dollars back from the Mexican immigrants who use the Farmers Market Nutrition Program. This year I decided to grow a few tomatillos for the same purpose. It is a new crop for me. They got off to a spindly start in my solar greenhouse compared to their close relatives tomatoes and peppers. Eventually, I placed them toward the center of the greenhouse where they would be warmer and then found some foil to reflect more light on them. Now I have some fairly good looking transplants. Next year I think I will give them some supplemental light. They seem to be closer to tomatoes than to peppers in growth habits so far. My next concern is figuring out when to pick them. The references say to wait until the inside fills or splits the husk. Only time will tell if that works. When I ordered the seed, there was a Hispanic in our church and I was hoping to get some picking advice from her as they got closer to ripening. She recently dropped out so I will have to find somebody else who knows how they are suppose to look. The other thing that will be interesting is eating them. I intend to try some of them in the fried green tomato recipe we have been using for years. (I have a coworker who expressed horror about that recipe but I have recently had my cholesterol checked and it didn’t even pick up any LDL. The HDL was 16. They say the optimum HDL is 60 but since HDL’s function is to return LDL to the liver and there was not any LDL available for it to return, that shouldn’t be a problem.) Anyway, the next time somebody tells you that Mexican immigrants are necessary to do farm work that American’s won’t do, tell them you know a farmer who is doing work that the Mexican’s aren’t doing.

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