Saturday, July 11, 2015

Back to the chilli fest

DSC02131 (1400x934)Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the plant to overwinter… I tapped the leaves and soil. ‘Most people wouldn’t even try’, noted the gardener, noting the paltry £5.50 price for new plants.  I know, but I tried to balance water, food, pruned to keep the shape…  The gardener shook her head: “You keep the shape you start with, it can’t be changed, luv”

So like kids and pets.

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The Christchurch Cheese and Chilli Festival began last year, and I brought home a multicoloured Twilight variant for the windowsill.  It got leggy and thin over the winter, but seemed on the road to recovery in May.  Then the Greeks took over. 

By the time I returned from Boulder, I had naught but a pot with sticks. 

So, year 2 of the festival, and plant #2 for the sill.  It’s a bit reminiscent of my attempts to grow Olive trees:  like any relationship, you have to be present to grow them properly.

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The Festival was bigger this year, more food vendors, entertainment, family areas, and craft booths.  There was a falconry tent filled with owls (and a forlorn Golden Eagle that I immediately took to) and a pirate balloon animal dancer guy (better than it sounds).

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And, once again the festival lacked actual Texas Chili.

I am convinced that a cauldron of kidney beans and beef, liberally seasoned with chili and cayenne, would be a huge hit here. 

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DSC02141 (1400x911)I contented myself with a wild boar burger and a pint of Old Thumper (5.1), settling in to hear a singer impersonate Michael Buble (impersonating Frank Sinatra). 

No matter, I’m a sucker for a well-laid torch song.

DSC02418 (1139x1400)And, in the end, the gardener and I selected a bushy budding Twilight chilli plant, along with some second-year advice on helping it to thrive.  It seems to have a good strong fruit (not that I need the stimulation) and now has place of pride between my lily and my violet.

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