Garden Basics with Farmer Fred

Mystery Seeds from China? Don't plant them!

July 31, 2020 Fred Hoffman Season 1 Episode 33
Garden Basics with Farmer Fred
Mystery Seeds from China? Don't plant them!
Chapters
00:01:42
Mystery Seeds from China
00:11:22
How Do Seeds Transmit Bacteria and Viruses?
00:19:50
Soil testing; taming hot peppers
Garden Basics with Farmer Fred
Mystery Seeds from China? Don't plant them!
Jul 31, 2020 Season 1 Episode 33
Fred Hoffman

We do read the comments you post at the various podcast services. And we respond. Recently, at the Apple Podcast site, Sage posted: “Will you please address the mystery seeds being mailed to Americans? This is super scary and I believe you can help prevent something awful since you have the audience. Thanks in advance!”

You’re welcome, in advance, Sage.

Yes, here’s one mystery in which there are still a lot of question marks. What’s the deal with all the unsolicited seed packets being mailed not only to gardeners in the United States, but all over the world? The seed shipments have fooled inspectors, because the packages are labeled as containing something else, such as jewelry or toys. The packages originate usually from China, and Kyrgyzstan.

Is it just a marketing gimmick, known as "brushing", a way to increase the notoriety and page placement on online selling sites…or, is their something nefarious about those seeds? Are they seeds of invasive or poisonous plants? Do the seeds contain plant viruses or bacteria? College horticulture professor (retired) Debbie Flower explains how a seed can carry a virus or bacteria, including the biggest threat to the country's citrus industry, the bacteria, Citrus Greening Disease (HLB).

Whatever you do, don’t plant those seeds. And don’t throw them away, either. We’ll tell you how you can help solve this mystery.

We do have more calming things to talk about here today: information on where to get inexpensive soil tests, here and here; and, how to tame the heat in peppers that you’ve grown that are just too hot, including habanero and serrano chile peppers. Dave DeWitt, author of "The Complete Chile Pepper Book" has the solution.

Don’t plant those seeds. Spend less than a half hour with us here, on Episode 33 of the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast. Let’s go.

More episodes and info including live links, product information, transcripts, and chapters available at the home site for Garden Basics with Farmer Fred  https://www.buzzsprout.com/1004629.

Garden Basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday. It's available wherever podcasts are found. Please subscribe and leave a comment or rating at Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Got a garden question? Call and leave a question, or text us the question: 916-292-8964. E-mail: [email protected] or, leave a question at the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram locations below. Be sure to tell us where you are when you leave a question, because all gardening is local.

All About Farmer Fred:
Farmer Fred website: http://farmerfred.com
Daily Garden tips and snark on Twitter
The Farmer Fred Rant! Blog
Facebook:  "Get Growing with Farmer Fred"
Instagram: farmerfredhoffman
Farmer Fred Garden Videos on YouTube

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We do read the comments you post at the various podcast services. And we respond. Recently, at the Apple Podcast site, Sage posted: “Will you please address the mystery seeds being mailed to Americans? This is super scary and I believe you can help prevent something awful since you have the audience. Thanks in advance!”

You’re welcome, in advance, Sage.

Yes, here’s one mystery in which there are still a lot of question marks. What’s the deal with all the unsolicited seed packets being mailed not only to gardeners in the United States, but all over the world? The seed shipments have fooled inspectors, because the packages are labeled as containing something else, such as jewelry or toys. The packages originate usually from China, and Kyrgyzstan.

Is it just a marketing gimmick, known as "brushing", a way to increase the notoriety and page placement on online selling sites…or, is their something nefarious about those seeds? Are they seeds of invasive or poisonous plants? Do the seeds contain plant viruses or bacteria? College horticulture professor (retired) Debbie Flower explains how a seed can carry a virus or bacteria, including the biggest threat to the country's citrus industry, the bacteria, Citrus Greening Disease (HLB).

Whatever you do, don’t plant those seeds. And don’t throw them away, either. We’ll tell you how you can help solve this mystery.

We do have more calming things to talk about here today: information on where to get inexpensive soil tests, here and here; and, how to tame the heat in peppers that you’ve grown that are just too hot, including habanero and serrano chile peppers. Dave DeWitt, author of "The Complete Chile Pepper Book" has the solution.

Don’t plant those seeds. Spend less than a half hour with us here, on Episode 33 of the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast. Let’s go.

More episodes and info including live links, product information, transcripts, and chapters available at the home site for Garden Basics with Farmer Fred  https://www.buzzsprout.com/1004629.

Garden Basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday. It's available wherever podcasts are found. Please subscribe and leave a comment or rating at Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Got a garden question? Call and leave a question, or text us the question: 916-292-8964. E-mail: [email protected] or, leave a question at the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram locations below. Be sure to tell us where you are when you leave a question, because all gardening is local.

All About Farmer Fred:
Farmer Fred website: http://farmerfred.com
Daily Garden tips and snark on Twitter
The Farmer Fred Rant! Blog
Facebook:  "Get Growing with Farmer Fred"
Instagram: farmerfredhoffman
Farmer Fred Garden Videos on YouTube

Farmer Fred :

Welcome to the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast. If you're just a beginning gardener or you want good gardening information well you've come to the right spot. We do listen to the comments you posted on the various podcast services and we respond. Recently at the apple podcast site, Sage posted, "will you please address the mystery seeds being mailed to Americans? This is super scary, and I believe you can help prevent something awful since you have the audience. Thanks in advance." Well, you're welcome Sage, in advance. Yes, here's one conspiracy in which there are still a lot of question marks. What's the deal with all these unsolicited seed packets being mailed not only to gardeners here in the US, but all over the world. The packages originate usually from China and a few other smaller countries such as Kyrgyzstan, or if you have a Kevin Costner California accent, Krygyzstan. I'll probably just say Krygyzstan. Or maybe it's just a marketing gimmick, known as brushing, a way to increase the notoriety and page placement on online selling sites. or is there something nefarious about those seeds? Well, whatever you do, don't plant those seeds. And don't throw them away either. We will tell you how you can help solve this mystery. However, we do have more calming things to talk about here today, information on where to get inexpensive soil tests done, how to tame the heat in peppers that you've grown that are just too hot. So don't plant those seeds. Spend less than a half hour with us here on episode 33 of the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast. Let's go. Recently, many agencies have become aware of a number of reports regarding unsolicited seeds from China being received by homeowners. It's happening throughout the United States. It's happening here in California. It's happening here In Sacramento County, all you have to do is ask Chris Flores. She's the ag Commissioner for Sacramento County. And Chris, you've been getting calls about this, too. And pictures that people have sent in look rather scary. It's all these different types of seeds that have come in from strange places like China and Krygyzstan.

Chris Flores :

And that's correct, Fred. We started receiving calls yesterday, Tuesday the 28th. We have received over 15 calls and we have collected approximately a dozen seed packets.

Farmer Fred :

I am glad people are giving you the seed packets. I was afraid that they were just taking pictures of them and sending them on their way. Because we both know gardeners... and gardeners, if they have seeds, they like to plant seeds. And that's probably the last thing you want to do with a packet of strange seeds, correct?

Chris Flores :

Yes. And we don't know. You know where they've come from. We don't know what they contain. You know California seed law and the federal laws, you know, protect seed and ensure that it is safe and viable and that it doesn't contain noxious weed seeds or diseases and viruses. So we want to make sure that we are collecting these seed packets and that they're not being planted. We do not want them being planted. We also don't even want them being disposed of because we don't know where they'll end up. So we're very happy to collect them.

Farmer Fred :

I would hope too, that they're also including the original packaging that they came in because one of the things I understand was that there was some fraud involved as far as certifying the seeds for international shipment.

Chris Flores :

Correct. They are being labeled as jewelry, toys, other other things so they're not being able to see so we don't know that their seed until they're opened.

Farmer Fred :

They are in the pictures you sent me. They've been labeled as Rose stud earrings, more earrings and quite the assortment of different styles of seed as well though, the seeds that have been displayed in the news look kind of like citrus seeds, but you've got quite the collection of different seeds. You've got large seeds, you've got small seeds, you've got seeds that look like squash seeds, seeds that look like corn, seeds that look like beans, and it's quite the assortment.

Chris Flores :

Yes, we had one one resident had five different seed packets that she had received. They were just all different seeds.

Farmer Fred :

Do you have any idea or have you been able to connect the dots as far as the packages that you have received from homeowners who are wondering about it? If they had something in common? were they Amazon customers or Etsy customers or somehow related in that way?

Chris Flores :

and we have been interviewing the residents that we are receiving seed from. And quite a few of them have recently ordered seed through the mail or online. And so we don't know if it's a mailing list, you know, went out that these were seed purchasers. But that is one thing that is in common.

Farmer Fred :

This is also something that's always worried me. If you do order seeds through Amazon, sometimes you don't know where they're coming from. I was once looking for a very specific gaillardia seed called Arizona apricot, and I found it on Amazon and I ordered it and about a month later they arrived from Qatar of all places. It confounded me that there were no closer sources for a gaillardia seed.

Chris Flores :

Yeah, so you want to make sure when you're ordering seed online that it has proper labeling. And if you ever have a question about whether or not it's a valid or a certified seed, feel free To take a photo and and send it our way, and we can always investigate.

Farmer Fred :

The USDA has commented about this. And I won't say they're they're brushing it off, but they're basically calling it a brushing scam, where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. But you know that that's their best guess at this point.

Chris Flores :

Yeah, that's one of the theories. But you know, they don't know. And so we are waiting to hear from the USDA, and or the California Department of Food and Ag as far as what our next steps are. So Meanwhile, we do want to collect the seeds because we don't know yet what the purpose is and why people are receiving these seeds. And so in order to just ensure that they don't have anything in them that could either harm the environment or our agricultural crops here in the county or in the state all of the activities Every single county is collecting these packets.

Farmer Fred :

Is there any testing going on of the seeds for possible coatings of fungicides?

Chris Flores :

I'm not currently, but we were hoping that that will take place. So we are we are collecting them in order to probably hand them over to the California Department of Food and Ag.

Farmer Fred :

what sort of diseases or problems could happen to agriculture if the seeds got planted and were distributed?

Chris Flores :

Um, you know, we we are always concerned about some strange disease or virus that is in you know, other countries, something that we don't have here in the United States and so, you know, we do get an occasional seed that will, when when it grows out, it does have a virus on it. And so, you know, we were always concerned about that. Want to make sure sure that we're not spreading something to our established crops.

Farmer Fred :

A lot of people are concerned though about, they could be some sort of new weed that might be introduced to our area and what are the problems of new weeds being introduced?

Chris Flores :

You know, we don't want any new weed infestations or noxious invasive weeds. They're always they always outcompete our native plants. They use more water, they don't hold soil as well. They can poison livestock, there's there's many detrimental effects of new weeds. And so that's definitely a concern.

Farmer Fred :

gardeners though do have a bad habit of when they have seeds, they want to plant them and if you plant them and let them grow, you may think, "Well, what's the harm in that? they're in my yard." How could they possibly spread? Well, if it's some sort of plant that produces berries, it could get spread far and wide by the bird population. For example.

Chris Flores :

Correct,yes.

Farmer Fred :

Are you urging those who may have said they have planted the seeds to dig them up?

Chris Flores :

You know, we are actually waiting on guidance from the state regarding that issue. I would it would be my assumption that that is something that we would advise. But we would, I would like more information first, you know, before we tell people to dig up there, they're planted seeds.

Farmer Fred :

So to sum up, if you get unsolicited seeds from China, or Kyrgzstan, and they're marked jewelry or toys or any other thing and it's something you didn't order, don't open the package. Don't touch the seeds. Don't plant the seeds. And don't throw away the seeds either because that may cause problems at the landfill if they should happen to sprout. What you need to do is save all the packaging, save all the materials and call your county ag extension office, wherever you may live. And here in Sacramento County, that number is...

Chris Flores :

for the Sacramento office. It's 916-875-6603. That's 916-875-6603.

Farmer Fred :

And what will you be asking them to do?

Chris Flores :

We will actually go out and collect the seed from them. So they don't have to do anything other than arrange an appointment time for us to come out.

Farmer Fred :

And again, I would imagine you'd want them to keep all the packaging involved and that would include the mailing envelope,correct?

Chris Flores :

Yes, please. And we are we are asking residents that if they can double bag the package, the seeds in the package that they came in, we'd appreciate that in Ziploc bags or some sort of plastic bag.

Farmer Fred :

This isn't just happening in Sacramento County. It's happening in every county in California probably and throughout the United States. If you've been watching the news, you've seen shipments of unsolicited seed from China and Krygyzstan. It's at this point, a mystery. The best thing you can do as a gardener: don't plant them. Don't touch them. Call your local county ag commissioner and they will move the seeds away from your house. We have been talking with Sacramento County ag Commissioner Chris Flores. Chris, good luck on this one.

Chris Flores :

Thank you, Fred.

Farmer Fred :

Let's bring in our favorite retired college horticultural Professor Debbie Flower. we just heard from Chris Flores, the Sacramento County ag Commissione,r about the mysterious seeds from China that are now appearing here in California and have appeared so far in something like 23 states

Debbie Flower :

and that interesting that it's happening in the news and and it seems to be happening all over this country.

Farmer Fred :

It's happening just about everywhere. It probably is some sort of marketing scam, but just in case, all the county commissioners are saying Please send us your seeds. Don't plant them, don't throw them away. Don't touch them.

Debbie Flower :

Right because they are concerned about possible viruses that may be in the seeds.

Farmer Fred :

Now I sent you the pictures of the packets that were sent to the county ag commissioner's office and there certainly are a wide variety of seeds pictured

Debbie Flower :

Yes, there are.

Farmer Fred :

And I'm wondering what viruses are associated with seeds could could a seed transmit a virus?

Debbie Flower :

Yes. And in fact, that's one of the primary ways that viruses are transmitted is through seed. viruses are just a they're not even a full molecules. They're just a piece of genetic material and a protein. And in order for a virus to become active in a living organism, it has to work its way into the DNA of that organism and let the organism itself as it makes new cells make, make that virus along with it. And so if that plant has that virus, it's in every cell of the plant or every cell that's infected in the plant, and if that infected section makes a seed, then the DNA that is in that seed includes the virus that was in the diseased portion. So absolutely, viruses can be transmitted by seed.

Farmer Fred :

And then looking at the seeds, it appeared that some of them did resemble citrus seeds. So if you're familiar with what's going on in the world of citrus in California or Arizona or Texas or Florida, you have to be concerned about citrus greening disease, huanglongbing, HLB disease. and right and that virus can be transmitted via seed.

Debbie Flower :

Well, the latest information I found was from a journal called tropical plant pathology and this was from volume 45, published may 14 2020. They were looking at huong long bing (HLB), and they say they've now decided it's a bacteria. so it's Been a disease that's been difficult for humans to figure out so that figuring out even what kind of disease it was, was is part of the problem. So in this article, they say it's a bacteria mostly vectored, meaning brought from place to place, by insects. The psyllid in general which is a affecting insects pierces the cells of the plant and leaves some some material behind but but eats from from that piercing as well. And it says that they found they Their goal was to see if there was a Huong Long Bing in seeds or other parts of baby citrus plants, and they did find the bacterium in different parts of the seeds and, and also in citrus seedlings. They found it in the seed coat in the endosperm, which is the little packet of food that's in every seed and the embryo which is the baby plants, so they found it in the baby plant. The food that's in the seed to feed that baby plant and the coat of the seed bed. around that little package of food and baby plant, that's what makes up the seed so they found it in all parts of the seed and they found it in the seedlings that were grown from those seeds. Except for a few cultivars of citrus which I have never heard of: Shamouti sh a AM Oh UTI sweet orange, they did not find it in the embryo of that one and the paan can Mandarin, Ponkan, and foodhall Murcia, sweet orange, FOLHA second word MURCHA, sweet orange. I assume these are Asian cultivars, since the names to me sound Asian, and those are not ones I'm familiar with us growing here, but except for those three cultivars of citrus. The HLB was found in the seed and in the baby plants. Although the baby plants showed no symptoms of Huang Long Bing. as we know in this time of Coronavirus, live organisms can have a disease and be carriers of the disease but show no symptoms of that disease. So perhaps these seedlings of Huang Long Bing grown from infected seed and when examined in laboratory conditions were found to contain hormone being but showed no symptoms of it. Perhaps they're carriers that are not showing symptoms. And that means if those plants were grown to be adults, out in the field, whether they're adults or not out in the field, if they were visited by the psyllid insect that is the primary carrier or vector of the disease, taking it from one plant to another could feed on those plants and get the carry the disease to the next plant. so it's showing that the bacterium can be in there. One article says that the bacteria can be in the seeds and it can be in the baby plants, it can be implanted don't show symptoms, and we know that about huanglongbing it can take a couple years or more to show symptoms in infected plants in the US, and so that it can be transmitted by seed and seedling.

Farmer Fred :

So basically the answer is we don't know yet.

Debbie Flower :

Yeah, this one source right says that they think in in science, science, you have to be able to reproduce what one in order for it to be good science. It has to be reproducible, whatever that is, whether it's an experiment or or the results of an examination, it has to be reproducible. So we have to wait and see if someone else does similar research and comes up with the same conclusion.

Farmer Fred :

And we should point out that what you were reading from was research that appeared in in a peer reviewed journal correct?

Debbie Flower :

As far as I can tell tropical plant pathology peer reviewed journal international journal devoted to publishing a wide range of research on fundamental and applied aspects of plant diseases website right now there are submission guidelines, ethics and disclosures. I didn't read those things. So I'd have to read those things to find out for sure that it is peer reviewed. Peer Reviewed means that they get an article and they've got an experiment, they send the article to a statistician to check that the statistics are done correctly. And if it's about citrus, they'll send it to a citrus expert to make sure that the citrus portions are true. And they send it out to all kinds of experts in the fields that this article touches on to make sure that everything as far as any human can tell was done correctly.

Farmer Fred :

That brings up another good point to talk about. if you read in the newspaper and it's very common...a new study suggests that popcorn cures baldness. For example, I wish. but know that study could have been just Some basic research done at a college or some other private institution. And for all we know, it could have been the popcorn industry paying for that research. If you're trying to verify what you're reading is true or not, you have to go to the source material. Is that source material from a valid peer reviewed journal? Or was it a private study or even an institutional study and look to see if you dig through it? Who funded it? Follow the money as they used to say.

Debbie Flower :

yes, absolutely true.

Farmer Fred :

As always, we learn a lot whenever we talk with Debbie Flower, retired college horticultural Professor Debbie, thanks for a few minutes of your time.

Debbie Flower :

Oh, it's a pleasure, Fred. Thank you.

Farmer Fred :

We just might call this segment, lessons learned the hard way. or as grandpa wicka used to say back on the farm in North Dakota, "education costs money", but it pays to spend a bit of money to learn more about your soil. Knowing the exact nutrients and minerals your soil needs before you plant leads to a more bountiful harvest. Thus, you're avoiding the heartbreak of watching your plants spend their time in the ground, struggling to survive, let alone produce flowers and food if there's any ingredients missing in that soil, and we're coming up to that time when many warm climate gardeners will be transitioning from summer vegetables to cool season vegetables. Well after you rip out those summer squash plants, but before you plant greens like chard, spinach, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, and so much more, get to know your soil a little better. Get a soil test. I've mentioned before that one place that can test your garden soil at a reasonable price is the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It's their soil and plant nutrient testing laboratory. You can find a link to that website on today's show notes or just do an internet search for UMass Amherst soil testing. Well, a few weeks ago, when we were talking to pepper expert Dave DeWitt, he discovered the hard way that salt buildup in his soil was causing his pepper crops to diminish year after year. And he discovered that by using another reasonably priced soil testing service, he was able to turn that around,

Dave DeWitt :

have your soil tested every year, that would be my advice. And the extension services can do that. I used to a Colorado State University. They were they have a really good testing lab. It's not very expensive. And they give you a complete report that looks like a scientific paper almost telling you exactly what your garden needs and they'll give you advice. And I thought I knew a lot about gardening but I didn't. I wasn't I wasn't paying close enough attention to my soil. And so that was a big lesson I learned. You know, you can get the best varieties. You can buy the best bedding plants and all this stuff. It doesn't matter. It's all useless if your soil is Filled up with salts.

Farmer Fred :

Let's talk about exactly what a chili pepper is. There are a lot of hot peppers on the market, you've got your Hungarian wax peppers, is that necessarily a chili pepper.

Dave DeWitt :

It is a chili pepper, but it's not, it's not very hot. It would be not as hot as a jalapeno say. It'd be more along the levels of a, I don't know, a New Mexican, or something like that. And you know, New Mexico chilies that we grow here are 800 to 1000 Scoville heat units. And that's not much, but we we don't eat him as a spice we eat him as a food. And so when you make green chili stew, you know, it's it's 30 or 40%, green chilies, that that's a concentration there and so it builds up the heat. And so we can have very hot foods in New Mexico but that's just because we're eating eating chilies as a food whereas in other cuisines, like Tex Mex, for example, and some of the California cuisines that have chili peppers, they're making a chili pepper gravy. And there's a whole bunch of others. See, that's a dilution factor. Again, doing it here, we don't dilute the chili peppers. We eat them in large quantities. So that makes the heat level higher as we perceive it in our mouth phone. So chili peppers, you know, are not vegetables, they're fruits. They're just fruits that are perennials, where it doesn't freeze, but sort of like oranges, for example, their fruits, but you can't grow them all year long, everywhere. So they're susceptible to being, you know, frostbit. So chili peppers are similar to that in many ways. And you think well, chili peppers are just a garden plant. In South America, there are varieties of chili plants that are trees, capsicum pubescens, for example, When I've seen pictures of the plants and their hardwood trees with stems as big around as your wrist and they grow, you know, 20 feet tall in some places. So I mean, I don't just think of chili plants as a, a garden plant because some chili plants are, as I said, perennials that become trees. There's a wide variety. that's not going to happen in your garden in Northern California or my garden here in Albuquerque, but I have seen people who live in places where there's no frost whatsoever, and their chili plants and they keep them every year. And they they prune them back and they turn into small shrubs anyway.

Farmer Fred :

And when it comes to growing hot peppers, many people are disappointed when they're growing the really hot peppers that they don't really start maturing until almost the very end of the season around October or so.

Dave DeWitt :

some of them have a long growing season. 120 days to 150 days for some of them. The habeneros would be the the quickest maturing of any of those ones that are, say hotter than a jalapeno and jalapenos suffer these days because the larger the jalapeno, the milder it is, what happened was both New Mexico State University and Texas a&m University came out with non pungent jalapenos and those got into the gene pool. And hence, jalapenos have been emasculated to a certain extent. That's the joke anyway, only an Aggie would emasculate the jalapeno. And but that's what happened to get into the gene pool. And so when you see these large jalapenos, they're not going to be very hot. It'd be more like a New Mexican chili than a jalapeno we expect and that that means that a lot of people have turned away and are now replacing jalapenos with Serrano chilies, serrano chilies. Nobody's coming out with a mild Serrano so they're hotter than jalapenos to begin with and they still are so if you're going to be making sauces and or cooking with what used to be jalapenos, Serrano's are smaller so you can't stuffed them whereas you can stuff one of these larger jalapenos. Actually the jalapenos the larger ones are better for stuffing because they're not so hot, you know for people who chile reniios and so the larger ones are good for something. But originally they came out with non pungent jalapenos for the Nacho market in ballparks and things like that where people were getting burned out by the jalapenos and saying can you make something a little bit milder so I can so buy nachos will just kill me and that's that's how it all happened. And but once you once you do that, then you just don't know because people are growing them. The pollen can be transmitted by insects. over a distance really, the chili peppers are not pollinated by you. When they're pollinated, other self pollinating mostly but insects can carry the pollen from one plant to another. So there's a field of non pungent jalapenos. And if it's within a mile of other chilli plants then that pollen is going to be everywhere. The rule of thumb is as far as a honey bee can fly, which is a couple of miles.

Farmer Fred :

How is it that some people run screaming to the kitchen sink after a small bite of a moderately warm chili pepper. And yet, you probably have friends who can munch happily on an entire bowl of habaneros with no apparent ill effect. Well, as DeWitt points out, it depends on how many capsaicin receptors that you were born with. And he also points out a really nifty trick for reducing the heat of chili peppers that you're using in recipes.

Dave DeWitt :

For example, the woman who's on YouTube from India who's squeezing pepper juice into her eyes, super hot peppers. She was obviously born without it. capsaicin receptors, that's the only way she was able to stand it. And so there are people like that. And you probably know people who can gobble down super hot peppers without, you know, blinking an eye. They just were born with very, very few capsaicin receptors. Most of us were born with a normal amount so we can take it to a certain level. But, for example, everybody thinks because I'm a pepper expert that I can take super hot peppers, but I can't, the habanero is about the hottest pepper I can take and I still don't eat those raw and mix them or cook with them or mix them with fresh sauce or something. But I'm not going to go eat up habaneros raw. They're just too hot for me. But as I said, the dilution factor works in there and so yes, they're usable in certain kinds of foods. If you were making a soup for example, and you were going to make a gallon of soup, then you know, you might put two habaneros in the soup but by the time all the other ingredients were in it, you would have the Heat levels diluted down to a level that was that you could take and it would be tasty. So that's the big mistake most people make is is not diluting them enough. You can cook you can cook with the habaneros and the super hot. Just be very careful with them.

Farmer Fred :

tha'st pepper expert Dave DeWitt, author of the complete chili pepper book a gardeners guide to choosing growing preserving and cooking. You can find a link to that and more of Dave DeWitt's pepper books in today's show notes. garden basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday and it's available just about anywhere podcasts are handed out, and that includes Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, I Heart,, overcast, Spotify stitcher tune in and hey, Alexa, play the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast, would you please? Thank you for listening, subscribing and leaving comments. We appreciate it.

Mystery Seeds from China
How Do Seeds Transmit Bacteria and Viruses?
Soil testing; taming hot peppers