Protect peppers from extreme heat

“I am peppered, I warrant, for this world.”Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Scene 1

Shakespeare mentioned pepper more than half a dozen times in various plays; however, it was most likely black pepper, the seed of Piper nigrum, that he was referring to. He often used pepper or peppered as a verb to mean doomed as in this passage from “Romeo and Juliet.”

I’m not growing black pepper in my home garden; however, I am growing several types of peppers in the Capsicum genus: : yellow and red sweet bell peppers, two

types of jalapenos, orange habaneros, cayenne, and one of the hottest peppers on earth, the ghost pepper (Bhut Jolokia).

Pepper plants, like tomatoes, will drop their flowers or fruit if daytime temperatures soar past 95 degrees F. The weather forecast says the Rogue Valley may be in for this kind of hot weather, so be sure to keep cover cloth or some other type of shade protection ready. I’ve set up a few umbrellas next to my peppers that I can easily open and close as needed.

I’ve already harvested a few jalapenos from my garden, and I want to share a delicious dish that my friend, James Davenport, created with them. James is a cook at

Jalapeno peppers in my garden.

Caldera Restaurant and Brewery in Ashland, and has also cooked at restaurants in Portland and New Orleans. His peppered pull pork tacos were the best I’ve ever eaten!

Peppered Pulled Pork

Ingredients:

4 lbs pork shoulder

3 jalapenos sliced

1/2 cup red onion sliced

5 cloves of garlic chopped

5 strips of bacon

4 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. salt

3 tbsp. fresh cracked pepper

Prepare:

Rub pork in salt and and pepper. Cover in olive oil; top with garlic, onion and jalapeno and strips of bacon. Place in casserole dish, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover casserole dish with tin foil and bake for 3 hours or until meat falls apart. Drain fat. Serve as taco filling, pork sandwiches, or protein with any side dish.

Peppered Pulled Pork with my jalapenos.

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  • About the Author

    Rhonda Nowak

    Rhonda Nowak is a Rogue Valley gardener, writer and teacher. With more than 25 years of gardening experience and a Ph.D. in literature and language arts education, she combines a love for plants, poetry, and prose in her Literary Gardener blog. ... Full Profile
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