Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Bell Pepper Uprising

That's 1 dollar and 94 cents for one bell pepper.

And, so begins the revolution.

I'm a little outraged by food prices. And, I imagine ~ unless you've been living under a rock ~ you are, too.

Before you reprimand me... may I just say I wouldn't be nearly so outraged if I'd purchased this pepper at some groovy organic farm?

At least, in that scenario, I'd be assured a lot of love and affection, not to mention safe practices, went into the growing of it.

But, I didn't. I snatched it up, while running errands at Walmart, 'cause I needed dinner on the table in about 40 minutes. Did you know that bell peppers rank #7 in the Dirty Dozen? The top 12 veggies that contain the most pesticides?

Truth be told, I'd much prefer to fill my gardens with beautiful flowers and leave the produce planting to farmers.

But, I guess, as a gardener, I'm feeling financially ~ and morally ~ obligated to buck this whole skyrocketing price thing and thumb my nose at the man. 

Because... it is kind of ridiculous, don't you think? That we gardeners can grow a basket of bell peppers, from seed, for the price of a single pepper at the store?

Save a Bundle ~ Quick-Growing Veggies for Mountain Gardens
  • Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach
    • matures in 42 days
  • Coronado Crown Hybrid Broccoli
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  • Early Contender Bush Beans
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  • Little Marvel Sweet Peas
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  • Black Cherry Tomatoes
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  • Fat 'N Sassy Hybrid Sweet Pepper
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  • Scarlet Nantes Carrot
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Mountain Veggie Growing Tips
Most every veggie has a quick-growing cousin that does well during our short mountain summers. I choose a lot of veggies based on how quick they reach harvest. Growing them in containers, on the deck, often delivers better results. The soil stays warmer at night and it's hotter on your deck, during the day.


    ProfessorRoush said...

    Our cost to grow is so low because we don't have to transport them an average 1000 miles/pepper from farm to table. (I don't really know how far they move on average, but I recently read that the average pound of beef travels 1000 miles to get to your table.)

    Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

    Aw, nuts. I was hoping you'd be on the front lines of my revolution. :))

    Snowcatcher said...

    I'm doing a lot more in containers this year, and that way I can bring them in when the weather gets severe. (I think some of them have become spoiled and don't want to go outside anymore!) I'm so excited to have TWO bell peppers currently on the vine... an indoor vine that never went outside last year! I wonder if they've cost me $1.84 in water?!?! :)

    Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

    Good point, Snowcatcher!

    I do containers for the same, dang reason. Right when I think summer has arrived the mountains have a different idea and deep freeze all my seedlings. :))

    Lona said...

    I know it is just ridiculous! I am sure that high cost is not from the farmers. I have seen them here as high as $7.00 for 3. I love them but not that much. I did not know the fact about the pesticides. I have some red and green bell peppers seedlings growing and hoping they will do well this summer. It cost more to eat healthy than it does for junk food.

    Marguerite said...

    Now I'm going to have to look at the prices of peppers when I go shopping this week. Normally I ignore the prices. Fresh produce is not something I skimp on. If I'm feeling cheap then processed foods are the ones that get left off my shopping list.

    biobabbler said...

    Dude. LOVE IT. Like paying for tomatoes in the summer?!? Are you KIDDING ME? GROW grow grow. You rock and I'm getting STOKED TO GROW! (note: felt this way about expensive happy-chicken eggs ($5?!?) and got chickens--NOT CHEAPER but way more fun and they recycle your veggies and are sweet and now eggs = free 3 years, now). Another great post to get me cranking and LOVE the mountain-specific hints!

    The Hag said...

    I have a long foundation bed along the south side of the house that gets really warm during spring and summer days and stays relatively warm, even during our cold nights. As extra protection I salvaged some old windows from a renovation project and use those to prop up against the house over the peppers and tomatoes (and usually some zinnias too). It works pretty well.

    Janie said...

    Yes, food prices are ridiculous. I really need to start a garden.

    debsgarden said...

    I grow just a few veggies, and bell peppers are my #1. For some reason, they do very well in my soil, and they taste much better than store bought. If food prices continue to climb I may have to turn an unlandscaped field into a real vegetable garden and build a chicken coup, too!

    jan said...

    That yellow pepper photo is gorgeous! I don't really like peppers so much, but I would put that one in the center of the table just for the beauty!

    Tessa @ Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots said...

    I'm with you, Kate! Food prices are ridiculous! And from what I hear, it is only going to get worse. Nice list you have there for mountain growing- I've been wondering about beans :)

    Thanks for visiting, and as usual, happy gardening!

    Lisa at Greenbow said...

    It does make one sick to pay such high prices. I can't seem to get myself in veggie growing mode though. Maybe some day.

    Melospiza said...

    Ooh, this post's a keeper--I'm always struggling with season issues (and I don't even at that high an altitude!)

    And I'm excited by Snowcatcher's comment. I've never had much luck with bell peppers, but the idea of growing them all year round inside makes me perk up a little.

    Alan said...

    Having a fertile area of land (not even a big one) and not using it to grow our own food. Vegetables and fruits are really expensive. You've got a great idea!

    RURAL said...

    It's more then a trend around here, it's a movement. Community gardens are popping up everywhere, and I love it.

    I knew that the peppers were high in pesticides, but I was kind of ignoring it...sigh.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

    Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

    Hi Kate, I have noticed food prices have snuck upward over the winter. That is definitely a good motivator for growing your own. More of a motivation for me though, are the lack of safe growing practices. I'd like to know I am not putting pesticides on the table when I serve fresh vegetables.

    Balisha said...

    Being married to an Italian man...you can imagine how many peppers I use in cooking. I guess I'll get to the little greenhouse in town and plant some peppers in containers this year. Food prices have skyrocketed and I heard talk of the prices going up even more this summer. I does cost more to eat healthy. Balisha

    Anonymous said...

    Kate, thanks for your quick-growing tips for mountain gardens. I've not having any luck finding the 'Black Cherry' tomato at nurseries in my area. Where have you found yours, or did you start yours from seed?

    Unknown said...

    LOVE this post. :) I've been on board the revolution for a while now, but I think that I'll join your revolutionary band anyway--strength in numbers is good!

    But, allow me to whine a little bit. My boyfriend, who is practically perfect in every other way... does not like tomatoes. Really. He very gamely did a tomato-tasting adventure with me last year, but they're definitely not his favorite. So I guess that I'll have to continue to grow my own tomatoes... *sigh* ;-)

    Corner Gardener Sue said...

    I didn't know about the list. I'll have to check it out. Except for bananas and an occasional pineapple,
    I avoid buying produce from other countries, since they don't have the same restrictions we do on certain chemicals.

    I freeze cut up peppers, and they keep pretty well, but lately, I haven't been freezing enough to last the whole winter.

    D said...

    Kate, see this thumb, see this nose? I will not pay 2 buck for one pepper; it's like buying 'store bought' tomatoes in the winter.. just won't do it. Besides the extraordinary cost of a single item, we don't know in what it grew or what was sprayed on it. I'm growing many of them in the hoop house this summer in order to increase the output since our nights are so cool. Chop some up and freeze for fall and winter use just like the kale and spinach.

    PS: you're in OR and you didn't tell me!?! :)

    Grace said...

    Your post has inspired me and I'm now starting my own spice garden. I love it! I'm sooo excied with my new project. :)

    Rose said...

    Occasionally, I've bought a zucchini in the winter, and every time I'm aghast at the prices. Usually, in the summer I can't give them all away:)

    I didn't know peppers were so full of pesticides; I'll be scrubbing any I buy much more vigorously from now on.

    Anonymous said...

    I´m trying to grow red bell peppers on my balcony in cool, wet (rains daily) , mountainous area with a very long growing season. I grew them in Wisconsin´s hot summers without problem. My plants get lots of flowers but the peppers turn red when still small or rot on the bottom. What kind of fertilizer should I be adding to get bigger peppers?

    Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

    Hi ~ Bell Pepper rot generally happens because of a calcium deficiency. Rather than opting for general fertilizers, try crushing egg shells into the plant medium. Should do the trick. :)

    Growing Bell Peppers Indoors said...

    Nice Tips! Now, Food prices are ridiculous. We all really need to start a garden. Thanks for the informative post.

    Growing Bell Peppers Indoors said...

    Nice Tips! Now, Food prices are ridiculous. We all really need to start a garden. Thanks for the informative post.

    Growing Bell Peppers said...

    Very good points. Thanks a lot to sharing such an informative information. Keep it up.

    Growing Bell Peppers said...

    Very good points. Thanks a lot to sharing such an informative information. Keep it up.