For the rest of this year, work has brought me back to China, and so I left the Parndorf pepper garden… which has, this year, been a paradise only for the slugs.
Chilli has been growing, has been used – and has, as mentioned before, turned out rather different from how it looked last summer when and where it was collected in China. Only too much of it has been devoured or has suffered under the slugs.
Only the KuGua (bitter melon, balsam pear) has been doing rather well, overall – and in some cases, perhaps a bit better than ever expected and ever before experienced…
It is all, as usual, both amazing and extremely aggravating. I think next year I will need to find myself a field to cultivate, the garden is just too problematic. Of course, that will just present new possibilities as well as new problems.
But for now, I’m looking into China and its food culture and chilli cuisine again.
So, I went through Hong Kong (from where there’ll be a bit more to report) to Beijing. The first morning, I stepped out in front of the building where I’ll be staying, and some kind of cucurbit (pumpkin or gourd… it doesn’t seem to be bearing fruit) greeted me from across the yard.
And, what did I discover at its foot, in one of the spots so typical for the “guerrilla urban gardening” in China?
Why, chilli pepper, of course!