harvesting chilis

Hi all, I have two chilli plants bearing fruit on my windowsil - I dont know the exact varieties as they came from a mixed packet of seed, but I think one is a birdseye (small fruit growing upwards) and one is a habenero (large bulb like fruit - looks like the habeneros I see in the shops!). My question is, when and how do I harvest them ?? Some are starting to turn red, so I assume they're OK to pick but what is the longest I should leave them - will they fall off when they are 'over ripened' ?? Also, what is the best method for picking them - do I cut the stem holding the fruit close to the main stem or close to the fruit ?? Shouwl I leave any of the fruit's stem attached to the main stem ??
This is the first year I hav grown chillis - advice would be much appreciated !
Thanks, Neil
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also when they reach a usable size. Use em right away or---thread them on a string and let dry in a airy location. Or pop in a plastic bag and freeze--no processing needed. Or cut slits and pack in pure vinegar>

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Just gently grab the fuit, twist and pull (holding the main stem if necessary).
If it resists, you can cut the stem just above the fruit. However, I've always thought that "naturally" tearing will break the plant across in built weak lines. Cutting is a little more brutal.
Mind you, the Habenaro may get its revenge on you if you've got a good one. After your eyes have stopped watering, you can think about next year's crop and maybe trying something else, like a Scotch Bonnet (just as good a heat, but maybe something extra in the flavour department).
Colin ----- (Please reply via the newsgroup)
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Cut/clip through the stem. This *light touch* business will have you wrenching branches from your chile plants. They don't have a neat little 'detach here' bend like tomatoes. Most peppers can be 'harvested' pretty much as soon as they're big enough to recognize whether they're bell or jalapeno. We eat/cook/use peppers in all stages of maturity. In general, the flavor sweetens and mellows somewhat as the fruit matures and, perhaps, changes color. And eventually they will rot on the plant. They *don't* drop when they're "ready."
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Neil Catley wrote:

A few, comparatively lightly attached varieties will fall off on their own - but this usually indicates a defective fruit, perhaps one attacked by bugs. Most chiles will dry on the bush.
In general, you can pick any time from "full size" on ... though for maximum green chile flavor, you really should wait until they just start to change color. Best time to pick, though, is after full ripe and before the first signs of drying.

Some chiles, like serranos, have a weak attachment to the stm, and can easily be picked without cutting. Most need to be cut: cut anywhere on the stem. Don't worry about where on the stem you cut, or how much you leave on the plant - just take care not to harm the plant when harvesting.
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touch
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Pam Rudd wrote:

Great way to 'roast' your chili<G>!
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Thanks for the advice - I'll be sure to bear it in mind when picking time comes for the habs. I picked a couple of birdseye yesterday to put in a chili - pinched the stems with my nails and they just came off. Not sure what will happen to the rest of the stem though - will it rot or will it grow ?? Maybe just a case of wait and see.....

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Pam Rudd wrote:

suspect yours were not as fiery as mine. I've seen several people try to handle mine. Every one of them has regretted it.
Bill
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On Wed, 09 Jul 2003 18:30:27 -0400,since it's all about me

<gasp!>
<sputter!>
Not as fiery?!!!
Not as fiery!!!!
You..you...you cad! How *dare* you slander me in that vile fashion! I will hold the fieriness of my peppers up against the fieriest of the fiery! I have to shoo local chileheads away from where they're huddled on my steps in hopes of merely a glimpse of one of my fiery peppers. Dragons of olde hover near my garden in hopes of stealing one of my fiery peppers to restoke their sizzling breath. The FBI sent a special task force to make sure The Puppies O' Thunder were up to the job of defending my fiery peppers from terrorists who would turn them into Weapons of Mass Destruction! After eating a bowl of chili with one, just *one* of *my* fiery peppers in it, you can expect to have flames shooting out of your butt the next day.

Well, perhaps those who handle *my* fiery peppers are simply made of sterner stuff than you and your pantywaist friends. Huh! huh! Did you ever think of that, you nattering nitwit! Or perhaps they regret it because it's one of your wimpy ass peppers and not one of *my* fiery peppers! Huh! Huh! Did you ever think of that, you mewling milquetoast!
Pam, not as fiery, my lily white ass! Dem's fighting words!
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Pam wrote:

You can actually use a whole chili? Lame. Yeah ... yours are definitely not as hot as mine. :-)
(I have really nice organically rich soil in a raised bed next to a south-facing cinderblock wall that I have painted white. The habs, maters and beans just love that bed.)
There's no way to actually compare heats ... but it was a decidedly bad idea to touch last years habs, no matter how briefly or gently. I have a good set of callouses on my hands that the habs simply ignored.
Bill
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Christopher Norton wrote:

One thing that got my attention is that, in my organically managed garden where there is a fairly wide variety of both predators and prey, the habs had NO insect damage. I'll take that back. Something cut a semi-circle out of one leaf. Apparently even in the insect world there are self-destructive idiots. I do make note that this individual did not make a return visit.
Bill
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Do you get leaf cutter bees over there? Some of my trees get eaten alive by them some years. But they dont do massive damage to the tree as its the source of leaf for them.
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Christopher Norton wrote:

I recall seeing them when I was a kid .... but that's a very long time ago. I do not have to account for them in my garden.
Bill
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