PEPPERCORN (Piper nigrum) is one of the most widely used spices in the world. The plant is a tropical perennial that grows well in containers put out seasonally and brought inside to winter under a growlight and produces beautiful fruits that, when dried, are the spice we call pepper. You can dry the berries at the green, red or black stage, each stage having a slightly different taste. Pepper has been used medicinally to aid digestion and as an expectorant for thousands of years. Freshly cracked or ground pepper will surprise you with its floral undertones. Absolutely worlds above the common black pepper you buy in the store. 10 seeds.
MEDICINAL: Traditionally used for a long laundry list of complaints, there is little modern substantiation, except that it has been shown that the active compound, piperine can dramatically increase absorption of selenium, Vitamin B and beta-carotene. Also, a pinch of pepper will staunch minor bleeding and has some antiseptic properties.
GROWING TIPS: What you will get looks very much like the peppercorns you buy at the grocery store, but has received different treatment to keep the seed viable. Nevertheless, this is dormant seed, and as with all tropicals, you will need to break dormancy to germinate. Soak seed overnight in pure (unchlorinated) warm water for 24 hours and sow 3/4" deep in seed starter with heat mat. Be patient! Professionals use other methods of scarification to break dormancy. They also use a red light for 2 hours a day. Do not let your growing medium dry out. Once germination occurs, keep potting up as seedlings grow. This is a vine, so it will need support of some kind as it grows. You may find growth slow in the first few years, but after that, it should be strong and productive. You will also find that it will root where it touches soil, and that its berries will germinate much faster than the dormant seed that you plant initially. Also, needs a rich, well-fertilized soil. Feed in spring/summer; cut back in winter. Do not prune, except as absolutely necessary for maintaining habit. This is a tropical plant, grown in India, so if you cannot replicate its natural habitat you will only be frustrated trying to grow this, but it can be grown indoors successfully if you mist daily and the room is not too cold or drafty and you put under a grow light if natural light is not sufficient. Prefers temps and humidity above 75 degrees, so put out when summer comes along, provided you harden off. Reverse this process bringing it back in for winter so it does not suffer shock. Piper Nigrum takes 3-4 years to reach berry production stage and will live, under proper conditions, for 30 years!
BLACK PEPPER WATER CRACKERS: An easy and delicious way to showcase your freshly dried peppercorns! And you will save LOTS of money baking your own fresh crackers - not to mention impressing your family and friends! Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease two 14x17-inch baking sheets. Combine: 2 C All-purpose flour,
1 t Baking Powder, 1/2 t Salt, 2/3 C Warm water, 1/3 C Vegetable oil, 1 Egg White blended with 2 T water. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Stir in water and oil, mixing until smooth dough forms. Divide in half. Flatten 1 piece into large square directly on 1 prepared sheet. Cut into squares leaving in place on baking sheet. Pierce all over with fork. Brush generously with egg white mixture. Sprinkle with freshly cracked/ground pepper. Repeat with remaining half of dough. Bake until crackers are dry and golden, 10 to 12 minutes @ 400 degrees. Cool on racks. Store crackers in airtight container. Fresh Black Peppercorns cracked as garnish. These crackers are excellent served with salad, soup, cheese or spreads. Makes about 4 dozen.
CHERRYGAL HEIRLOOM GARDEN SEEDS & PLANTS offer hundreds of heirloom and vintage open-pollinated varieties. Most have histories dating back centuries and are tried and true producers. Some are rare, or threatened with extinction. When you grow a plant from heirloom seed and save that seed, you are participating in a practice that goes back for generations. Our grandparents and their grandparents grew these varieties. Often the seeds were prized possessions carried to the New World when they emigrated.
Ever notice how most seed catalogs require you to buy (and pay for) much more seed than you could ever possibly use in a season? If you have a budget for garden seeds, this limits your choices! Although seeds can be viable for longer than one growing season, it requires that they be stored at a consistent temperature and humidity. Few of us do this. CherryGal sizes its seed packets for the home gardener, because we know you may want to grow 5 different lettuces, or three different corns, and don’t want to have to take out a second mortgage to do so! But at the prices most stores and catalogues charge, if you sample 20 different vegetables, herbs and flowers you will be spending $50 - $70! But, the same seeds at CherryGal.com will probably run around $25. CHERRYGAL SEEDS ARE A TREMENDOUS BARGAIN!
Another important reason to grow a large variety of plants is that one of the chief culprits in honey bee colony collapse disorder seems to be that their immune systems are weakened by the prevalence of mono-cropping. In other words, bees pollinating only one variety crop have a diet equivalent to eating only bread. Growing an abundant variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers will help sustain our precious honeybees!
All seeds offered are FRESH stock, with high germination rates, tested by the growers and myself. Varieties are specially selected for home gardeners. If you want the flavor you remember from grandma's kitchen garden or the beauty of her cottage flowers, choose CHERRYGAL HEIRLOOM SEEDS.
ABOUT OPEN-POLLINATED SEEDS . . . All CherryGal Heirloom Seeds are heirlooms (dating at least 100 years) or vintage (mid-20th Century or older) varieties, with an occasional modern variety included which I believe merits special attention. All CherryGal Heirloom Seeds are OPEN-POLLINATED. This means saved seed will be true to the parent. Don't be dazzled by the never-ending array of hybrid seeds promoted by gardening suppliers. First, seeds from that produce will not grow true to the parent -- you have to keep buying the hybrid seed (get the picture?). Second, most hybrids are developed for market – not home -- growers with an emphasis on extended shelf life, storage and shipping qualities -- NOT flavor, texture and all those other elements that home growers seek.
All CHERRYGAL HEIRLOOM SEEDS come from reputable growers (most of them small farms) and wherever possible ORGANIC suppliers (so noted). By buying CHERRYGAL SEEDS you are supporting the growing worldwide movement of SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE and with a little practice you will be able to save even more money in the future by growing open-pollinated varieties and saving seed for next year.
Please Note: CherryGal Heirloom Seeds are guaranteed to be fresh stock, but are not guaranteed as to results (sorry - we wish we could, but there are too many variables in gardening) so please do not ask to return. However, we think you will be pleased and would like to hear about your gardening success!
SHIPPING: I endeavor to ship my seeds as quickly as possible - usually within 24 - 48 hours. During peak seed season (January - June) this timeframe can stretch to a week or more because of heavy volume of sales. I do the best I can and fulfill orders in the order received. If a variety is on back order with a supplier and not likely to available for a week or longer, you will be advised and given the opportunity to substitute or cancel with refund. I package my seeds for shipping in a manner appropriate to the amount and type of seed - larger orders and larger seeds require more packaging. Whether you choose first class mail or priority shipping, your seeds will ship using a delivery confirmation number which will be supplied to you. Our checkout system is keyed to the US Postal System. For small seed orders, I recommend choosing FIRST CLASS mail at checkout. Larger orders (over 13 ounces) can ship either parcel post, though you may find PRIORITY MAIL actually to be less expensive. (I gave up trying to figure out the US Postal System rates a long time ago).
Lastly, I appreciate all my CherryGal.com customers, but have a special affinity for my seed customers. If you have a problem, please email me, using the contact links that are all over the website. Calling is likely to be a frustrating experience, as I do not have the staff to answer the phone and gave up my message system a long time ago because I was spending too much time answering messages instead of shipping and finding/growing wonderful things for my customers. But your email will be promptly responded to.