Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

County Dodged A Bullet, Weather Wise

By Steve Cummings

It was kind-of strange last Friday night to see Yalobusha County under a flash flood warning, when there had not been a sprinkle at the Multipurpose Building or my house at the time.  We were rushing to get a horse show completed before the bad weather hit.  We did get the horse show complete before the rains came about 11 pm.  The bad weather arrived during the night and fortunately the damage was limited and no worse than it was.  I would say Yalobusha County dodged a bullet weather-wise.

The Yalobusha County Homemakers are hosting a quilt show this Saturday, May 10th, at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building from 10 am – 3 pm.  I did not know a quilt show was such a big thing.  There will be vendors, a county store, hanging baskets, etc.  Also, lunch will be served.  This could be a place to get that last minute Mother’s Day gift.  If you are interested in quilts there will be a large number of quilts on display.  The homemakers have put a lot of work into this activity and I know it will be worth seeing.

Justin McGuirk asked me to mention that the Water Valley Farmers Market will open every Saturday starting on May 17th at the Water Valley Railroad Park near the Chamber of Commerce building on Main Street.  The market will be open from 8 am – 11 am each Saturday.  This year there will be garlic, onions, herbs, herbs in pots, cut flowers, english peas, cured meats, hand ground grits and flour.  Interested sellers can call Justin at 662-801-9273.

Horticulture Tips:

Hot peppers take precedence this week in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Many of our hot pepper names are actually from the town where they were original grown. Jalepeno were grown near Jalapa, Mexico.  Anaheim were developed near Anaheim, California. Habanero are named after Havana, Cuba. All hot pepper pungency  (heat) is a combination of genetics and climate. The latest “World’s Hottest Pepper” has several names including Naga Jolokia ,Bih Jolokia , Bhut jolokia, Borbih Jolokia, Nagahari, Nagajolokia, Naga Morich, Naga Moresh and Raja Mirchi. Individual peppers from this Indian variety have tested at over one million Scoville units. In comparison, the hottest habanero was tested at about a half-million, while we gringos think a jalepeno with ten thousand is hot.

Gardeners who want the hottest pepper should grow a hot pepper in direct sunlight and never let the plant lack for water or nutrients. This is the opposite of herbs which require minimal fertilizer to produce the most flavorful product.  Pepper plants bloom continuously and will bear fruit until frost kills the plant.

Peppers allowed to ripen don’t have any more or less capsaicin than green peppers, but the sugar in the fruit masks the heat. The capsaicin is located in the cross walls and placenta inside the fruit. Peppers are a good source of pro-vitamin A and vitamin C.

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