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9/29/2013

Trinidad Scorpion Pepper


For many years I've been growing what was the World's Hottest Pepper, the Bhut Jolokia, or Ghost Pepper. In my book, Make Your Own Hot Sauce, I give some background of the pepper and offer a few recipes in using it in hot sauce. This year for the first time, I'm growing the current record holder for the world's hottest pepper, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. Later today I'll be making a batch of hot sauce with both of these peppers.
The two world's hottest peppers.
Depending on the source (I accept the New Mexico State University Chili Pepper Institute's measurements) the heat, measured in Schoville Heat Units, or SHU, can vary slightly. They rate the Ghost pepper at 330,000 to 1,023,310 SHUs. The new record holder, the Scorpion, weighs in at 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 SHUs.
In other words, it's pretty darned hot! So you may wonder, why would anyone want peppers that hot? Well, for the guys (and it IS a guy thing) who crossed the ghost pepper with a Red Savina habanero pepper and came up with the Scorpion, it means bragging rights. It also means they can license seed companies to sell their seed, and make a profit. But beyond that, believe it or not, these intensely hot peppers, have flavor, as well. Flavors not necessarily found in other peppers. And you don't eat them raw, or you shouldn't because it can be dangerous. But if you mix them with other kinds of peppers and ingredients, you get the flavor and not as much of the heat. To give an idea of where this heat comes on the giant pepper heat scale, keep in mind the Scorpion comes in at between one million and half and two million heat units. For comparison, look at the Jalapeño and Cayenne listing, below.
A Jalapeño pepper is rated at 3,500 to 8,000 SHUs. And my favorite for roasting and eating, the Poblano, is almost without heat, with 1,000 to 2,500 SHUs.
But if I combine some roasted Poblanos, a few Jalapeños, onions, garlic, vinegar, cilantro and a couple of Ghost peppers and a Scorpion, it will be a tasty hot sauce for just about anything I put it on. I'm getting ready to do a program on making hot sauce for the Ozarks Area Community Congress coming up next weekend and we'll have some tasting of my different sauces. This one I'll probably name, Two Ghosts and a Scorpion.
Various hot sauces I've made so far.

7/01/2013

Some Help for PTSD Sufferers


Soldiers Suffering from PTSD Have a New Champion!

There’s plenty of evidence for the usefulness of alternative therapies in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). High among those useful therapies, based on years of reports from our customers, are sleep pillows, also known as dream pillows. Laugh, scoff or ridicule as you wish. but this method has helped thousands of people over the years.

I began writing about dream pillows and their effects over 25 years ago. You can read my experiences and what convinced me, by clicking here and looking through my archives. I first learned about dream/sleep pillows from a pharmacist, and you can see the formula he made for me by clicking here, then scrolling down. And if you would like to read the story of someone who helped a bunch of Vietnam vets who all suffered from flash-back nightmares, quieten their sleep, read this.

What I want most to tell you about is Elizabeth, a customer of ours who’s been buying dream pillow supplies from us, making restful sleep dream pillows and giving them away to soldiers and veterans who are suffering from PTSD. Every time she runs across someone who has a brother, father, son or spouse, who she learns is suffering from PTSD, she sends them a sleep pillow. The feedback she’s gotten, the gratitude, is simply amazing.

Because it’s a costly process to keep making and giving away sleep pillows, Elizabeth has created a non-profit group, the American Heroes Sleep Project, in order to help more soldiers and veterans. Her new website is here. Check it out, you can order a sleep pillow for yourself, or to give someone. She also has an option where you can buy one for yourself and she’ll send someone who’s suffering from PTSD a pillow also.

There’s no magic in why sleep pillows work, it’s based on how our minds process fragrances. You can read more in my book, Making Herbal Dream Pillows (Storey Publications), which you can buy from Amazon, or buy it from me on my website.

Over the 25 years I’ve been making, selling and educating people about dream pillows/sleep pillows, I have seen amazing results. From kids who have nightmares to Vietnam Vets who have flashbacks. From people who are on the stop-smoking patch (which causes nightmares in many people) to those who simply have trouble sleeping because of stress, over and over again, people tell me how helpful the pillows have been to them.

Go to the American Heroes Sleep Project and help out someone who’s suffering from PTSD. Read about their mission and what they're doing to help soldiers who are returning from combat missions with their healing. It certainly won’t hurt and for many, it is a great help.

Or maybe you are suffering from lack of sleep or night mares, or both. You will find better sleep and less nightmares using a sleep pillow. Thank you and pleasant dreams!

5/21/2013

Mildew and Root Rot Problems in the Garden.

Powdery mildew can affect bee-balm (Monarda) as well as roses, squash and other plants.

Copyright Jim Long 2013; Ozarks Gardening
Cool, damp weather encourages a new set of problems in the garden. We’ve had rains, chilly nights, humid and cloudy days, all things which create conditions for fungus and mildew to grow. If let untreated, either of those can slow down or kill garden plants. There are some simple solutions and remedies that cost little and are effective. 

Powdery mildew is a condition you may find on squash, cucumber, melon and rose leaves. As the name implies, the leaves take on a white or gray, dusty coating. Powdery mildew starts as a small, round white spot on the leaves. In just a few days, the spot has grown to cover the entire leaf. Here’s a simple treatment that shows good results.

Mix up 1 part plain whole milk from the refrigerator with 9 parts water. Pour into a garden sprayer and spray the affected plants in early morning. Repeat the spraying twice a week until the mildew disappears. There’s lots of research showing plain milk is as effective as chemical fungicides, and it’s a whole lot cheaper and more safe. It’s also good to avoid excess fertilizer in cool, damp weather as that can encourage mildew problems, as well. 


Pepper plant suffering from root rot.
Root rot is another common problem when the weather is damp and cool. Plants appear to wilt and die for no apparent reason. Watering the plant makes the problem worse as the fungi, including Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Pytophthora and Fusarium, can be spread to other plants by water run-off. Here’s a simple treatment that costs almost nothing.

Cornmeal, worked into the soil before planting encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria that combats various fungi from growing (which is why I always recommend using agricultural cornmeal in your tomato beds in February and March). But simply sprinkling a half cup of agricultural cornmeal (or even plain, cheap cornmeal from the grocery store) around each plant is helpful. Work it into the soil around each plant to prevent root rot. For plants that are already affected, use the same method, but if the plant doesn’t show some response in about 10 days, pull up the plant and destroy it to prevent the fungus from spreading to other plants.

I haven’t tried this one, but if you have, let me know of your results: Farmers in India are using Coca Cola as a spray pesticide on crops instead of commercial pesticides, with good results. Either the sugar or the caffein (or both) seem to deter insect problems. I couldn’t find the ratio of Coke to water, but if you have tried this successfully, please let me know. 

You can find more of my stories and gardening information on my garden adventures blog,jimlongsgarden.blogspot.com. You can order my books and products from my website by clicking on this link:http://www.longcreekherbs.com. Happy Gardening!

One of my newest books is the Make Your Own Hot Sauce. Check it out on my website.