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Member Since 24 Jul 2016
Offline Last Active Today, 10:10 AM

Topics I've Started

2019 Hay Bale Pepper Patch

20 October 2018 - 09:59 AM

I've been a member for a while but never posted a grow log. My usual garden is too boring for that. I use 20-30 pots and overwinter my mama plants in a hillbilly winter shelter. Our ground here isn't good for in soil gardening and I've not been enthused enough to undertake the work and expense to build raised beds.


Now I have my peppers working the way I want and have the need for a much larger grow to supply a project. The main peppers I'll grow will be reaper, douglah and fatalii. For a couple of years I'll do hay bale gardens and heap tons of organic trash into the area. I have monumental amounts of pine straw, oak leaves and bonfire ash every year to dump in the walkways. I think this will do a world of good to make this new garden area mo'betta for eventual in ground growing.


I closed off a 38x38 patch in the NE field that gets full sun. This is the area I chose. The big painted guy is my fertilizer supplier.


The little painted guy is my running buddy and load inspector.




18 September 2018 - 06:49 PM

I was getting nervous about our 18 year old 15.2 cf Whirlpool freezer and I was getting real tired of defrosting it so I got a new 17.7 cf frost-free Whirlpool. After debating with myself over what to do with the old one, I decided to convert it to a refrigerator.

I bought an external Century Digital Cooling Thermostat Controller for $19 delivered. I also got a dual zone AcuRite Refrigerator / Freezer Wireless Digital Thermometer for $24 to make it easier to tame the thing and monitor performance of it now that it lives in an outdoor workshop room.


All in all, it works great. It only took a couple of days to get the settings dialed in to keep it at 37° F.  You have to find the right place to put the sensor to keep it at the temperature you want. When this thing is cooling to 37°, it burns less than 5¢ a day at our KWH rate. 


One drawback is it condenses moisture and drips from the upper coil. I thought I could help some of that with a quart sized calcium chloride moisture trap but they don't do very well at that low of a temperature. My workaround  is keep things sealed tightly or covered with 6 mil plastic sheet and leave the bottom drain open. I set it on 4x4's for enough altitude to direct the drain tube into a small flat pan underneath where condensate subsequently evaporates.


I'm not using it for much yet. So far just for storing a case of eggs for the dog food and thawing and brining big hunks of meat. I have a big ol' turkey in there preparing it for smoking this weekend. I may try dry aging some cheap brisket soon if I can find a huge one. The 75% humidity is just about right for that and for storing my pods before freezing or drying. The freezigerator also allows me to play with using the smaller kitchen refrigerator as a warmer "root cellar" for certain foods that do better at 55° than in the pantry. I'm happy with this contraption.


Edit: Another nice thing about the freezigerator is it takes only seconds to return it to duty as a freezer. Adds a lot of redundancy.

So good to have fresh peppers

08 July 2018 - 07:11 PM

Fire in the belly thanks to the Carolina Reaper. Feels good.

Paqui chips

24 May 2018 - 03:02 PM

My wife got me a bag of Paqui Haunted Ghost Pepper chips for a long road trip that begins tomorrow. I'm fairly certain these won't be anything like those challenge chips I've read about here but I hope they're delicious and interesting. It's hard to dip superhot salsa and drive so maybe these will give me a bit of a pepper buzz. One can only hope. I'll report back on them mas tarde.

Very spicy healthy candy

03 February 2018 - 08:52 PM

Made from crystallized xylitol and simple flavors, this is a very healthy and delicious hard candy. Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from birch trees with the expected 4 carbohydrate calories per gram but unlike sugar, it has a glycemic index that approximates cauliflower. It's a great treatment for dry mouth, nukes bacteria and acids in the mouth so it protects the gums and teeth. It also promotes remineralization of the teeth.


I make it with flavors like orange cream, irish cream, vanilla swirl, caramel, cinnamon, etc.


I love my very spicy version. Cinnamon spice and crystalline capsaicin. It's bad to the bone but I don't go for a high level of heat. I make it with 0.01% capsaicin so it comes in at slightly less than 16,000 SHU. A nice level for me to use throughout the day although many people would find that far too hot. It's good stuff. The capsaicin is absolutely tasteless in the candy. Heat is the only feature it adds. The spiciness of the capsaicin is an additional treatment for dry mouth.


It's really simple to make. For instance, mix 50 grams of xylitol with 100 mg citric acid, 100 mg cream of tartar and 50 mg of pure capsaicin. Melt over a double boiler or over a heat spreader until completely liquefied. Stir in your flavor and pour out onto a suitable surface to form a sheet crystal. I use silicone baking ware for this. Once the crystallization is complete, break into small pieces and enjoy.