Last weekend’s WNC Herb Festival teemed with the joyous chaos of spring — hundreds of people in a small space brushing against each other to find that perfect pot of parsley, the most beautiful batch of basil, the cheapest chives. Oh, the glory of so many plants (and people vying to buy them) all in one place!
I came home with a six-pack of Genovese basil, some lettuce starts (butter head and leaf), and a pot of cilantro.
However, I was disappointed to find a severe shortage of jalapeño starts! Often, I’ve bought six or eight pepper plants at this annual sale at a very good price, but each booth with pepper starts was conspicuously missing jalapeño, or there was a clear empty spot where they used to be. “We’ll have more tomorrow,” one person told me, but I did not get a chance to return the next day. Even when I ran down the road to the hardware store, I had to buy the last four (rather puny) plants off their shelf. I guess jalapeños are popular this year?
In any case, my four little plants are happily settled into the garden now. I think they are like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree of jalapeño peppers – small at the start, but with a little love they’ll be just right!