Saturday, 28 January 2012

7 pod brown


Both good and bad news today. The 7 pod brown showed up today. And the one Black Cayman that was up, didn't make it. So that mini pot is back on the bathroom floor. It's not usual that the small seedlings die that fast. I think it has to do with the age of the seeds.

But it sure looks like it's going to be a "hot" summer! This is the current list of chiles:
  • Orange cheiro
  • Bode roxa
  • Douglah
  • 7 pot brain strain red
  • 7 pot primo
  • 7 pod brown
  • Black naga
  • Indian frutescens
And I have one variety from last year. The chiltepin.

Still waiting for some favorites to show up...

In the meanwhile, enjoy a picture from a gray, icy Saturday... Anyone care for a swim? :-)

Hot regards,

Thursday, 26 January 2012

A question


I've been thinking about moving this blog to wordpress instead of using the Google service.

My question is if that would cause any problems for you? All comments are welcome :-)


Orange cheiro

Hi again!

I was happy to see the orange cheiro show up today. According to my notes, I got the seeds in 2003. So they are nine years old (at least). I hope the seedlings are strong, and turn out to be nice plants that are productive. Because now I have no seeds left.

I wonder why I didn't save any seeds in 2004 when I grew it. Well, I must have been in some kind of minimalist mode at that time. My seed saving goes up and down depending on something that I have not understood yet. Anyway, there are some more pictures here:


Hot regards,

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

7 pot primo and "Plan B"

Good morning!

Just a short note. One more variety has germinated. It's the 7 pot primo that I got from Patrik the other week.

Last night I activated Plan B and put some newer dedo de moca seeds in soil. Together with more "Patricia" seeds.

One of the benefits of starting early is to have the possibility to start new varieties and still be able to enjoy an early harvest.

I expect that the remaining varieties might take some time to germinate. Or, that most of them will not be successful at all. Actually, I can't remember that I have been successful with seeds that are 10 years old. But, we'll see.

More later!

Monday, 23 January 2012

7 pot brain strain red and black naga

Two more varieties have shown up today. They are new (for me), so it will be exciting to see how they turn out!

So this is the latest status... As you see, there are in total six varieties in total that have shown up now.

I'm really concerned about the dedo de moca and "Patricia's fresh". I think the seeds are too old, so I will probably start a new pot with these two. I look forward to having them both in my biggest pot on the balcony this summer :-)


One more! Black Cayman

I was very happy to see my Black Cayman showing up this morning. I grew it last year, but it was so badly attacked by aphids so it didn't make it.

So, never ever give up. I hope it works this year!

Hot regards,

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Two more

It's Sunday evening and I was very excited to see two more varieties coming up! It was my douglah and the Indian frutescens.

So far, three varieties have germinated. Here you  can see them inside the plastic mini greenhouse. The picture is taken through the plastic, therefore the very soft appearance.

Isn't it amazing to think about that these small sprouts in just a couple of months will be big, flowering and hopefully even will be carrying fruits!

Wishing you all a nice week!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

A visit to Bergianska Trädgården

I think that January usually is a grey, cold and dry period. That time of year when I have an extra longing for humidity, flowers and light.

So last weekend we went to Bergianska Trädgården. It's our oasis where we recharge our batteries.

Since Carl was very small, he has investigated this pot. Somehow the pot seems smaller :-)

I love the cactus section! Very nice!

Patricia and Carl enjoying the view.

Here we have high humidity :-)

How do you like my hair cut? :-)

Wonderful smell from the almond flowers!

And some beauty...

And of course there is a very nice tabasco plant there. It is absolutely fantastic!

So if you are in Stockholm and want to recharge your batteries and experience some nice plants - it's definitely worth a visit!

Hot regards,

Friday, 20 January 2012

Bode roxa

And the first chile to germinate this year is a Capsicum chinense. Bode roxa! Six days for a chinense to germinate. In my world that is quite fast.

Major excitement :-) This is for me a new one, so I'm looking forward to see what it turns out to be.

Wishing you all a great weekend!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Thoughts on how to create the mobile homepage

This post is a continuation of

I've done a lot of reading about mobile frameworks lately. The framework I have to choose needs to work with PHP and the configuration of my ISP.

I will choose jQuery Mobile ( It meets my requirements well, and I think it will be exciting to learn something new! When I created the current homepage, I wanted to use a minimum of JavaScript in order to be as browser independent as possible. But the web browsers have matured, and I think this will work fine.

I will also start using JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) ( I hope to be able to over time base the two homepages on the same code base. And here I think that JSON will provide me with functionality that makes this transition easier.

Well, we will see where I end up. Here is a prototype of the "new" mobile homepage.

A problem that I have is to handle the extensive menu lists on the chile pepper database ( Both the species list that is on top (the buttons), but also the list with all the different varieties to the left. As you can see on the image below. This will be a challenge on smaller devices, so I need to figure something out.

I will let you know as soon as I have something that runs :-)

Keep it hot!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

2012 started

Is it true that Christopher Columbus discovered the Capsicum genus on January 1st? I honestly don't know. But even if it is true, that is not the reason why I usually start the chile seeds on that date.

This year we were in India on January 1st. Far away from my seed box. But today, eight days after coming home, and jet lag plus after-effects of the panchakarma has faded out, it was a good day to begin the Chile Pepper Year of 2012 :-)

Here are my labels that I reuse from previous years. 21 different varieties to go into soil today!

And even better, I have the perfect helper. Carl has been helping me with sowing the chile pepper seeds since many years. Can you feel the density in the picture below. Deep concentration. Extremely focused guys!

Details from my spreadsheet, the order of the seeds is crucial. No mistakes to be done... Hopefully....

This little modest box is nowadays my seedbox... Looking for the varieties to grow.

Carl doing a great job. Focus!

I couldn't find one of the varieties that I had planned to grow. A mismatch between the database and reality... Looking for a replacement...

Finished! Happy after a good work!

Teamwork is the path to success!

Here they are. There are many seeds in some of the pots. But the seeds are 8-10 years old. Hope they will germinate!

Ready to be covered with the lid, and moved into the heated bathroom floor.

Here is the list. Some old favorites and some new ones.
  1. Dedo de moca (C. baccatum)
  2. Cumari Enio (C. chinense)
  3. Cumari Salvador 2001
  4. Cheiro de Para Recife 2001 (C. chinense)
  5. Cheiro Recife 2001 (C. chinense)
  6. Trinidad perfume  
  7. Orange cheiro (C. chinense)
  8. Bod'e '06 (C. chinense)
  9. Bode roxa (C. chinense)
  10. Black Cayman (C. chinense)
  11. St. Kitt's Red (C. chinense)
  12. Patricias fresh '02 (C. baccatum)
  13. Douglah (C. chinense)
  14. Long chocolate habanero (C. chinense)
  15. 7 pot brain strain red (C. chinense)
  16. 7 pot primo (C. chinense)
  17. 7 pod brown (C. chinense)
  18. Bhut jolokia chocolate (C. chinense)
  19. Black naga (C. chinense)
  20. Indian frutescens (C. frutescens)
Number 20 is the newest one. It's the one I got seeds for in India :-)

Have a great weekend!

About the homepage

Good morning!

This is a technical non-chile related post, but I hope it could be useful for some of you anyway.

I've been thinking about how I can update my chile pepper homepage to newer standards. Or rather, the part of it that I call the Chile Pepper Database ( I created that page 6-7 years ago, when learning to program with PHP using MySQL as a database. And I think it needs a fresher look. Also, I have been thinking about enabling it for mobile devices.

According to my Google statistics, traffic from "mobile" devices the last month are 8,78% of the total traffic. A conclusion I make from this report is that it's not (yet) very important to support mobile devices. But since the homepage needs a facelift anyway, I will have a look at it.

Current status
I have done zero maintenance on the page during the last couple of years. My ISP has upgraded both PHP and MySQL, so at least that could have caused malfunctioning, so it is somewhat surprising to see that it still works.

Although I tried to separate the PHP presentation logic from the "business" logic, I have to say that the code is tightly coupled. Making it impossible to add support for mobile devices. Or even to have a smooth transition to newer standards.

Parts of the solution is based on Object Oriented features, making quite a mess when blended with more traditional PHP programming.

So, what are my choices?
1) Extend the current code and make changes to support new devices.
2) Develop new code, and try to base it on the current database design. Add new functions to make the old homepage more attractive.
3) Develop a new site for mobile devices and stepwise migrate the old homepage to the new standard.

Choice number one will result in an even bigger mess than today. So it is out of the question.

Choice number two will result in two different solutions. Making it hard to maintain and keep in sync between mobile and the "standard" homepage.

I think that choice number three will be my way forward. I will start working on a prototype for mobile devices and at the same time keep the "old" homepage in mind. This will hopefully result in some common elements between the two, and making the separation better.

I will continue writing on this subject as soon as I have made some decisions and even maybe something to show you.

In the meanwhile. It's Saturday morning, and I will go out and buy some soil today, to get some seeds started.

Wishing you a nice weekend!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

How do you keep track of all your seeds?

During the lunch with Patrik, we discussed how to organize and keep track of all the seeds. Usually, there is no problem at all from the beginning. Then you start swapping seeds with other chileheads, and the collection keeps growing. And all of a sudden you pass some kind of critical point, where you no longer know what varieties you have, or from whom you got them, and so on.

At least that is what happened to me some years ago. I guess I was driven by a desire to have more than 1000 different varieties. Jukka and I was racing towards that goal, and I think we reached it more or less at the same time.

The Solution

So, with hundreds of varieties, how do you keep track of them? Being an IT Architect, I'm interested in solutions built on a flexible structure. At the same time, I didn't want a complex system, so I decided to build it on OpenOffice, a free office suite that runs on several operating systems. Today, I use LibreOffice ( but it is built on the same code base.

Basically, I have two functions.
  1. The inventory. All the seeds I have (and also the ones that I don't have anymore).
  2. The yearly log. All the varieties that I grow each year.

The rest of this article assumes that you have some knowledge of relational databases. It is a short walk-through of the solution. If you are not familiar with LibreOffice, it is quite easy to get started with.

Or, maybe you just want to download the database file, and try it out for yourself. You find a link to the file at the bottom of this post.

To make it as simple as possible, I created two database tables. LibreOffice contains HSQL (a datababase engine), so all the functionality is contained from the beginning.

1) The varieties table. Contains all the variety information. Name, species, an approximation how many seeds I have, date when I got the seeds, from whom, and so on.
2) The years table, which contains information about sow date, when the seedlings germinated, when I repotted, if I have taken a picture of the flower, pod etc.

To give you an example. This is how the varieties table look. You see name, amount, genus, species, and so on. At the end you see "availableforswap", which was a way for me to flag a variety as private because of some reasons.

To add a variety, you simply add a row at the end of the dialogue above. Like an ordinary spreadsheet.

The years table is more complex, since it builds on the variety table. Remember the purpose of this table is  to keep track of what you are growing this year. And in order to grow something, you have to start with a seed - which is in the varieties table. So it's actually quite logical. Therefore, you have to know the " variety id" of the variety in the varieties table. Then you add the year, and the date you start the seeds. I am not using all the fields shown below. Sometimes I add fields, and sometimes I don't use them. It's all depending on the level of my current ambitions :-)

Tables are the place where the information is stored. Then you need some queries with logic to reach that information. For simplicity, I have two queries.

1) Available. Shows all the seed varieties that I have. In other words, where the amount of seeds are more than 0.
2) Chiles2012 (in this case). Extracts all the current chiles that I grow during a year.

Below you see the Queries section.

The available query
LibreOffice has a built-in editor for queries, and this is how it looks. You pick the fields from the chosen tables, and decide if they should be visible or not. Here you can see the amount column, where I have a Criterion which says > 0. Yes, I want to see all the varieties that I have more than zero seeds of.

This query can then be connected to an ordinary spreadsheet, and this is how it looks.

The yearly query looks like this. Here you see that the variety table and years table are connected, and there is a line between ID and varietyid. That is what I mentioned earlier. You have to have a seed in order to grow the variety. (Well, you could of course have received the plant, and that is something this solution will not handle...)

When I run the chiles2012 query, this is what I get after I have exported it to the spreadsheet.

Here is the file ->
You will need OpenOffice or LibreOffice in order to play with it. And you will also need to populate the tables with your data. So the file is empty when it comes to data.

Well, that is about it. I hope that I have inspired some of you to play with LibreOffice in order to keep track of your seeds. Anyway, I'm interested in hearing how you keep track of your seeds. Please comment.

Hot regards,

Seed exchange lunch

Seed exchange lunch! Doesn't that sound great?! What a nice sound of that sentence!

Well, to be honest, it was more seed receiving from my side. I definitely got more than I gave today! I met Patrik for lunch, and here you can see us. I'm probably so excited because of all the new varieties, so I missed to get myself into the picture :-)

Here are the bags with new seeds! I will definitely try if not all of them, at least most of them this year. Usually I don't grow the super hot varieties, but I have a feeling that 2012 will be a good year for growing them!

So, now I just need to decide which varieties to grow this year. More about that later!

Thanks for the seeds Patrik, and thanks for a great lunch company!
    Hot regards

Sunday, 8 January 2012


While in India, we were on an ayurvedic panchakarma treatment, so the diet was very strict. But I couldn't resist buying these chips for Carl :-)

Bingo! Guess if the chips were hot... According to Carl, they were very, very spicy and good :-)

Without exaggerating, Carl is very used to eating hot chiles and sauces, so I do believe him :-) Here is a picture that is at least 4-5 years old...

More pictures of Carls adventures in the wonderful world of chile peppers here:

Hottest regards,

Saturday, 7 January 2012

My kind of money exhange

No words needed :-)

Hot regards,

Capsicum frutescens from India

Happy New Year!

I'm back from three weeks vacation in India. Replacing the lightless, cold, winter stress in Sweden with some relaxing days in Kerala. Now I'm thinking about which varieties to grow in 2012.

While in India, I found a frutescens growing next to the road on the way to the beach. The plant was almost leaning over the wall...

So I couldn't resist picking a pod....

It tasted more or less the same as malagueta or tabasco, but I really enjoy frutescens, so I think I will grow it this year.

Here I am with Carl on the beach :-)

Wishing you all a great weekend!