We are in the last stages of finishing our new vegetable green house, also known as a garden hut by the Thai staff.
This new development is important because it allows us to grow vegetables in the off season which also means we do not have to pay higher prices for these types of crops. With the garden hut, we can grow higher value crops and give our kids a wider variety of food without paying the higher prices. One vegetable that ZOE will appreciate the green house for is chili.
ZOE loves chili. In fact, we use up to 6 pounds of chili per week! Chili is a spice, and like most spices, they tend to be more expensive per pound than regular vegetables. While we consider chili something that is only used occasionally, and sometimes never, it is a basic ingredient for many foods here in Thailand. This led us to the decision to grow our own!
Chili plants can be very delicate because they require both sun and rain, but not too much of either. Unfortunately, Thailand has excessive amounts of rain in the rainy season and way too much sun in the hot season. This is where the green houses come in. It allows us to give sunlight, but not too much, and it protects the plants from too much rain.
The plants have been growing for several months now, and we have finally began to harvest chili. During this time, the chili plants are flowering and producing like crazy! We harvest chili once a week and send fresh chili to the kitchen. Then with the leftovers, we dry and store them for use later in the year.
During the first two weeks, we harvested 30 kilos of fresh chili each week!