How to save Bhut Jolokia peppers seeds

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I was lucky enough to win some Bhut Jolokia pepper seeds from Red Icculus.  In case you haven’t heard of these they are the hottest peppers on earth having a heat rating of over 1 million scoville units.  Just to put that into comparison jalapenos are around 5000 scoville units.  One property of this pepper is the way the heat builds after consumption, on first bite it is spicy but takes a few seconds until you really feel the burn which is where it gets the name “ghost pepper.”
ScovilleChartBhutJolokia
Now when dealing with these peppers I recommend using extreme caution I have some pain in my nose hours later just from breathing around these things so vinyl gloves and possibly even a mask would be recommended.
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Once you have the safety precautions in place the process is actually very simple.  Just break them up and pick the seeds up and store in a homemade seed packet.  Now eating the pepper whole is not a challenge I want to take though saving the dried pepper flakes and adding a pinch so some chili might be up my alley.  Though if you want to watch some people in pain taking see these videos of people taking the Bhut Jolokia pepper challenge on YouTube.  Here is my favorite and my inspiration to not take the challenge.

I am planning on trying to grow one of these using my new hydroponic setup, well at least once I get around to building…so stay tuned.

Teaching children patience with gardening

It shouldn’t be a surprise that kids these days are not as patient as previous generations.  Personally I feel this is less on a change of parenting but a result of children’s expectations created because of the advance of technology.  For example, When my daughter asks to watch a particular show “On Demand” and then 5 minutes later asks me to “pause it” so she can go potty.  This makes me think back to the days of having a single TV station we could pick up with our antenna, which seemed to play reruns of MASH 24/7.

The great thing about gardening is with the exception of seed hybridization, synthetic fertilizers, and maybe techniques like hydroponics the hobby hasn’t changed too much in the past few hundred years.  It still takes 1-3 weeks for seeds to germinate not matter what technology you throw at them.  This is why I feel gardening is a great activity to share with the young ones in your life to help offset the instant gratification they see on a daily basis.

Here are a couple of ideas how to do this any time of year:

Cup of Dirt: Give your young one a cup of dirt and some seeds.  To keep them interested give them a spray bottle to water everyday to keep them coming back every day to check how their plant is doing.  The spray bottle will provide just enough water on the surface to allow the seeds to germinate and what kid doesn’t like to play with a spray bottle.

Sprouting in a Jar: I have a complete post on this topic, but the process is pretty simple.  Get a mason jar and add some seeds.  Rinse, drain and repeat.  In just a few weeks you will have tasty and healthy sprouts you can add to your salads, sandwiches, stir-frys, etc.

Growing plants in water:  Now this can be as complicated as setting up a hydroponic environment or as simple as taking a spider plant start and placing it in some water and letting your young one watch as the roots develop and transplant and care for it as a new plant.

Free tomato seeds

TomatoIf you head over to Campbell’s Help Grow Your Soup site you can get some free tomato seeds and while you are at it vote for a barn which Campbell’s will give $250,000 to restore.  So free seeds for you and one dollar for a barn restoration.