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P. Dreadie Memorial Group Grow 2016

Long-time THP veterans mourned the loss last August of Amarillo, Texas musician/songwriter/silversmith/chilehead Erin Mason, known to us here on the boards as P. Dreadie. Erin was an enigma, one of the most interesting and creative, yet gentle and loving guys I ever knew. Many of us may be unaware that he played harmonica in one of the original Austin, Texas bands of the early 1970s "Cosmic Cowboy" era, Alvin Crow and the Pleasant Valley Boys. When Erin decided to step off of Alvin's perpetually-touring bus and return to Amarillo, he travelled to Jamaica, fell in love with the Reggae beat, collected the best Scotch Bonnet fruit he could find, and his alter-ego Papa Dreadie was born.

In 2013 Erin sent me a few pods of the Scotch Bonnets he had been breeding, carefully selected descendants of the original fruit he brought back from the Caribbean all those years ago. I harvested every single seed from those pods, and stored them away, as I focused increasing attention on other varieties. When his wife Liz gave us the news last August that Erin had passed, I knew what I had to do with those seeds: a community grow in his memory. I have already shared about half of them, and I will continue to share them with experienced growers of the Scotch Bonnet until they are gone.

Papa Dreadie Scotch Bonnet Select, grown by Erin in 2013:



Lifetime memories posted by Liz Mason on Erin's FB page. Liz is an extremely talented professional photographer:


The legendary bus:

I did not know him but wish I could of gotten to know him.
The first time I got to heard about was form trident chilli (John) who was growing some of his out & was one of his friends .
I love the scotch bonnet it is the pepper that put me over the edge & forever a chilehead.
If you have any lift & could spare them I will fit them in my grow .
JoynersHotPeppers said:
Thanks, will do once you clear some space. :)  :dance:
Lol...THP stuff... :P ...Done!
Hybrid Mode 01 said:
     I have some P. Dreadie scotch bonnet seeds from cappy, via buddy (I love this community! :dance: ) that I'll be growing this season. I'll post pics of what happens here.
Sweet! Thanks HM!
Plantguy76 said:
I did not know him but wish I could of gotten to know him.
The first time I got to heard about was form trident chilli (John) who was growing some of his out & was one of his friends .
I love the scotch bonnet it is the pepper that put me over the edge & forever a chilehead.
If you have any lift & could spare them I will fit them in my grow .
Sure thing PG! Send me your shipping address on the PM...
Hybrid Mode 01 said:
     Those pods ^ are gorgeous, by the way!
Plantguy76 said:
Yes just beautiful love the spikes!
Hybrid Mode 01 said:
     The more I look at those pods, the more I kind of think there may be some annuum in their genetics. The calyces look big for pure chinense. I'm really curious to see what these are like.
Just in case some of you missed this I have re posted. Last April I spoke at length to Erin about the difference between his standard shaped SB and his selects. I had stated that I had grown his creation but the pictures I showed him were not his select pods. I know you like a chilli story so this is what he said ......

Hiya John ,

This will end up running on and on I'm sure. I'm an old Texan and we can jack our jaws !!

I was giving some SB seeds from a guy in Florida when I first got on THP. His name was Tony . He's no longer around. When I got seeds the had labeled them "Culled SB seeds " . We were in touch my email too. So I asked him about the "Culled " thing. He said those were seeds from the best pods. I said in Texas a "cull" was something that didn't make the mark. Exp .... I culled my chickens and just kept a few to breed. He said call them what you want. It's up to you to keep them going. So I called them Select . He never said where he got his seeds from. But at one time there was good Bonnets showing up there because of the number of Jamaicans living there. Yardies as Jamaicans call themselves.

I'm a musician and was in love with Reggae . So in 1982' I went to Ja for Reggae Sunsplash. A week , well 5 days of music really. The pkg I had to buy was 7 days. The first I day met my long time Idren Elton. He gave me Ja 101 so to speak . For the following 10 years I went back and lived with Elton. I started staying longer and the wife was afraid I won't return.

So Elton and I would travel the country but not tourist style . We'd stay with family members. After the first year I was in Love with the food. So I often spent time with who was cooking . Bonnets where always used . Quickly I saw there was different Bonnets . The market in Mo-Bay would have dozens of sellers. Some of peppers simply didn't look as nice or taste as good. Many Yardies were simply not good at picking what stock to grow from. The reason for in later years for the MOA in Ja to try and teach them the proper things.

Out in the country Old Granny had some Bonnets , they were super. I asked her what they where ... she said "Oh dem da Goat Pepper " . Like most Yardies it wasn't much info. So I always figured a Goat ate part of her pepper tree and hence the name. In isolated areas like that people had their own strains. Plants that had been grow for years there. They just didn't think about it that way.

In Ja there was 3 colors . and ONLY three ! Green ( picked early ) Yellow ( more orange at times ) and Red. There never was a chocolate or dark brown. And the shape was always like a Tam ( a Scottish sailors cap ) hence the name.

I'm not a fan of hybrids period. Especially with my favorite the SB unless someone is crossing 2 top strains of SB to try a develop a new maybe better Bonnet. Which I can say is not an easy thing. It takes years and years of work. I simply HATE most the chocolate SB's I see. They no longer look like a bonnet and the few samples I've been given DON'T have the proper aroma or flavor.

I don't care what other people do. It's their garden ... and they should do what's fun for them . That's part of the fun.

When I got into growing peppers I bought dozens of Caribbean strains from CCN. To me 95% of them sucked ... Period. I have found a few I like. But they stand on their own. They are not like a Bonnet in the least. I did find the Trinidad Perfume which has a very close aroma and flavor of Bonnets but NO heat. I use them to add the aroma and flavor to things like Rice 'n' Peas but not kick the heat up. A good meal to me should have some items that aren't hot.

I usually grow few super hots . I find them good to kick to heat up if wanted. And because they're so hot and you don't need much ... they don't the profile of what you're cooking.

Well Mate .... hope I was a little help

Peace and have a super day ,

Thank you all for taking part in this epic grow