I wrote this for this week’s Tourne-Sol newsletter. I thought it was worth posting here too.
This is a story about bees and how unexpected things can be exciting.
Way back In 2006, when Tourne-Sol was just a young farm, I grew some Bulgarian Carrot peppers.
Bulgarian Carrot peppers are about 3 inches long and almost an inch wide. They look like a bright orange pointy cayenne. They are a great hot pepper.
But one of the Bulgarian Carrot pepper plants we grew was not like the others. The fruit were squatter and stockier but still a bright orange.
And as I do with anything that looks different in the garden, I saved the seeds!
Why did I save those seeds?
There are two reasons why things might be different in your garden.
- The seed company mixed up two types of peppers by accident. Or,
- Some bees brought pollen from another kind of pepper and pollinated the mother plant that produced the seed that grew into this strange Bulgarian Carrot pepper.
When I saved those seeds from a different fruit, I was hoping for #2.
Cross pollination is where the magic begins. Cross pollination is where new vegetables come from!
In this case, I was well rewarded, this different pepper was a new thing.
The way I knew I was right, is that the next year I grew the saved seed and I saw something very similar to the following picture. The fruits on each plant were different from the fruits on each other plant.
In a situation like this, if there is fruit you like, you can save the seeds but the next generation will also give you a lot of diversity. However more plants will look similar to the mother plant.
If you want something that will reliably give you the same thing, you need to keep saving seeds from the plants that look the way you want. Every generation will look more like the previous generation. (Unless of course the bees come and mix things up!)
For the last dozen years I have been selecting some of these fruits based on the following criteria
- Round fruit
- 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter
- Vibrant orange fruit
- Sweetest fruit
- Earliest mature fruit
- Heaviest load of peppers per plant!
And that is the secret origin of Carrot Bomb peppers!!!
Carrot Bomb Pepper Fun Facts
- Great pickling peppers
- Low to mid level heat (10 000 – 30 000 Scovilles)
- Very early and heavy with fruit. (This is a perfect northern hot pepper!)
- Beautiful in a mix with Cherry Bombs and Hot Chocolate Cherry peppers!.
The name Carrot Bomb is an ode to Cherry Bomb hot peppers.
The name carrot is more than skin deep! Yes it does refer to the orange skin colour. But these peppers are also sweet like carrots (or almost like carrots – it is still a pepper!)
Over here, the days are getting warmer and the snow is getting meltier. Spring is in the air!