What About Peppers?

Yesterday in writing about my grandparent's gardens, I focused on the two things they didn't grow, broccoli and cauliflower.

Would anyone like to know what they did grow? Well, practically everything they ate. (Yes, it was a farm, so they also had pigs, chickens, and cattle, which they butchered themselves, but we'll not go into that since this blog is about gardening.)

Here's a list of fruits, berries, and nuts.

(They bought their peaches.)

Here's a list of vegetables...

Corn (generally grown out in a field and not in one of the gardens)
Lima Beans
Watermelon (grown out by the woods)

That might not be a complete list, but that's what we discussed the other night. It occurred to me that my uncle never mentioned peppers. I'm assuming they grew bell peppers and maybe hot peppers. (Like those from my garden this summer, pictured above).

In fact, I remember my grandfather ate a hot pepper (maybe an Anaheim?) every day... a piece in the morning, a piece at lunch and a piece with dinner.

We were also going to talk about the flowers on the farm, but didn't have time. I am curious about a flower my aunt told me that my great-grandfather grew, which had a horrible smell. According to my uncle, that's why he grew it, because of the smell. I guess he thought it was funny to have such a flower. The only clue I have as to what it might have been is that it was a kind of lily.

Hmmm, what could that flower be? And if I find out what it was, I'm not saying I'd grow it to see how bad the smell really was, I'm just curious. Okay, yes, if I figure out what the flower was, I'd probably grow it once, just to smell it. Wouldn't you?


  1. Your grandparents were hard working folks with all that they cared for on their farm!I admire farmers for their dedication and try to support them with making purchases when I can at farmers markets.

  2. I've enjoyed reading these past couple of posts about your grandparents. This is the kind of knowledge that is precious, because so often it's lost when our loved ones leave us. I wish I'd asked my grandparents what it was like coming here from Poland and Ireland...but now I'll never know. Kudos for keeping invaluable family memories alive!

  3. Carol,
    the posts about your grandparents have been delightful.
    Could the flower have been Dragon Arum? http://www.geocities.com/pelionature/Dragon.htm

    When I was a child I picked what I thought were some very pretty flowers in my grandparents woods. My grandmother about had a heart attack when I brought them in the house. I only remember her yelling about getting those 'stinkpots' out of the house. They weren't the Dragon Arum though, they were three petaled dark maroon or pure white with a bright yellow center. I wish I could find a pic of them for you.

  4. I agree with Tina. I thought it could be the arum. But that would have been a very expensive plant.
    I remember my grampa planting marigolds around the garden, he said they smelled terrible and it would keep the rabbits away. I betcha it is marigold, Carol...

  5. Dragon arum? I'll have to check that out. My uncle said it was a type of lily, so I am pretty sure it was not a marigold.

    I'm not sure I'll ever find out for sure what the foul-smelling flower was!

  6. I remember this "stink Lilly" that my grandfather planted. Mother insisted that it be planted far away from the house so he planted it down by one of the barns. It was a deep brownish purple. It was sort of like your flower that only bloomed a short time. The bloom only lasted a few days but smelled like a dead animal. Good luck with identifying it.

  7. There were more vegetables and fruits. I know there were tomatoes, onion, lettuce, carrots, cabbage and pear trees.

  8. Crown imperial, Fritillaria imperialis, is a bulb that flowers in April here in NJ. It grows 3 feet tall, has lily-like leaves on the stem. There are 4 to 6 largish orange bell-like flowers, dangling down from the top of the stalk. Then there's a tuft of leaves above the flowers, sort of the way pineapples are topped off with leaves. All of it - bulb, leaves, and flowers, have a skunk-like smell. Another common name is "tears of Mary." This is not an especially common bulb, but is the one that comes to mind.



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