Mammillaria spinosissima (by flora-file) HD

Mammillaria spinosissima (by flora-file)

perfect form (by flora-file) HD

perfect form (by flora-file)

bees like oregano flowers (by flora-file)

in the school garden

Flowers at the Ruth Bancroft Garden (by flora-file)

Someday I’ll make it there to make more photos. Until then enjoy these photos from last spring.

opening up (by flora-file) HD

opening up (by flora-file)

Donne Sali (by flora-file)

So you decided to grow hot peppers and now you have way too many. Solution: make donne. Donne is a chili paste made with spicy chilies and preserved with vinegar.


Chilis, Garlic, Salt, Vinegar 

  1. -Cut up chilies and garlic. Be cautious when cutting up very hot chilies. You may even want to use latex gloves.
  2. -Place peppers and garlic in food processor. Add enough vinegar to allow the chilies to blend evenly. Sprinkle a small amount of salt on top.
  3. -Blend until an even consistency is reached. 
  4. -Bottle and refrigerate.

The vinegar preserves the chilies and allows the paste to stay edible for up to a year. The flavor and potency will fade a little over time, but usually the paste is so spicy that  it is is barely noticeable. 

For this batch I had a bunch of Cherry Bomb peppers that were ripe, which have a very nice sweet flavor but are not overly spicy (I estimate ~2000-3000 Scoville units). To put a little more punch into it I added a couple ripe habaneros. Since this mix is ‘Sweet’, I used rice vinegar, though normally I used distilled white vinegar for a truer flavor.

Normally I grow both Thai and habanero chilies and mix them together to create my signature Rocket Blend, but this year all my Thai pepper seedlings perished and I am left with only habaneros. That means my next batch will be 100% habanero, and it will be pica! 

I’ll be enjoying the peppers from my garden all year. Will you? I also have a big bag of habaneros in the freezer for emergencies. Unfortunately some brave and crazy rodent ate the habaneros I had hanging and drying in the garage. Read more about donne HERE.

Getting ready to make my first batch of 2014 donne soon, and I still haven’t finished my donne from last year yet. This year I’m growing cayenne, habanero, bhut jolokia, and moruga scorpion. If you have too many hot peppers all at once, this is a great way to enjoy that spice all year long.

fishy fishy fish (by flora-file) HD

fishy fishy fish (by flora-file)

Eucalyptus flowers (by flora-file)

waves (by flora-file) HD

waves (by flora-file)


little help here (by flora-file)

I bought these two unmarked cacti at Ikea and need some ID help. Can any of you cactus experts (cactguy or cactusmandan) help me out here?

I.D.ed (I think) - Ferocactus glaucescens and Mammillaria spinosissima

Blue Barrel Cactus and Red Headed Irishman

Euphorbia millii (by flora-file)

abstracts (by flora-file)

the first ghost chili (by flora-file)

handle with care

the first ghost chili (by flora-file)

handle with care

Cayenne Chilis (by flora-file)

these things are huge, and there’s so freakin many

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