Monday, August 22, 2011

The Hottest Pepper in the World?

 Buddah's real name is Al Goldenberg. He is a renowned 'chilehead', hosting a website called I Love it Spicy. Buddah reviews chile pepper products, lets others know about upcoming 'chilihead' events and hosts a forum where other like-minded pepper lovers can meet.
Last week, Buddah stopped by Valley View Farms to talk with Kathy and Carrie about hot peppers. Buddah, along with other chile pepper aficianados, had watched the world's hottest pepper designation change at least 3 times last year, going from India, to the UK and finally to Australia. Peppers are measured in Scoville units. The Australian pepper was measured at 1,300,000 Scoville heat units, making it 300,000 units hotter than the Bhut Jolokia pepper. Take a look at the following chart for an idea of just how hot this pepper is. I can hardly handle Jalapenos!
Buddah traced the latest pepper, known as Trinidad Scorpion Butch T's Strain, to a garden center in Cockeysville, MD. You guessed it; the hottest pepper in the world was traced right back to us. It  is our famous Trinidad Scorpion pepper! One of Valley View Farms' founders, Punkey Foard, collected several very hot peppers on his trips to Trinidad and Tobago during his winter vacations over many years. He took  the seed to our greenhouses where we started growing Trinidad Hot Peppers as part of our vegetable transplant offerings a couple of decades ago.Though we've made the claim that Trinidad Scorpion is the hottest pepper in the world, it wasn't until Buddah's interview that we learned it may be recognized by the world's experts for its fiery heat.Click here to watch the interview in its entirety.
Thank you, Buddah. See you in April 2012 when our pepper transplants will be available once again. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cherry Dazzle Crapemyrtle

We've all seen the beautiful red, pink, purple and white blooms of crapemyrtles in many yards and landscapes.

Look closely and you'll notice interesting bark patterns on many of the large trees as well. Crapemyrtles, in both tree and shrub forms, will add color from July through most of September. As an added bonus, once established, they are drought tolerant in our area. 

One of our favorite new varieties is called Cherry Dazzle. A dwarf, compact crapemyrtle, it grows just 3-4 feet high. Cherry red blooms add color to garden borders, containers and mass plantings. I love them in perennial borders where their rich, red blooms combine well with all sorts of plants, including ornamental grasses, echinacea, and liriope. Cherry Dazzle continues to add interest in the garden in autumn with its bright red foliage, contrasting beautifully with the rest of the fall garden and landscape.

You'll find many varieties of crapemyrtles ready to plant into gardens and containers now in our nursery. Our helpful signage will indicate height, width and care for each variety that is available.

Photos courtesy Gardener's Confidence Collection