A Tree Grows in Brooklyn…

Serrano chiles

Serrano Chiles From the Garden

Or sort of, anyway. It’s not a tree but the Brooklyn rooftop garden is yielding some nice veggies. To the left are some of the Serrano chiles I picked yesterday. We also have some cucumbers, some cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and lots of fresh mint, basil, and cilantro.

The Brooklyn rooftop has lots of good sunlight and lord knows we had enough rain this summer, but I think there’s a problem with urban pollination. I don’t think there are enough bees buzzing around in Park Slope to do the job.

What with Bee Colony Collpase Disorder diminishing the number of bees helping to pollinate and NYC not being a super bee friendly environment (it’s illegal to raise bees in NYC although a few brave souls still do…God bless them) it’s hard to find enough bees to pollinate a rooftop garden. Enter – self pollination or the art of pollinating your own flowers by hand. Yes, it’s  a lame, urban substitute for the real thing. It’s almost as humiliating as picking up your Dog’s poop off of the sidewalk, but what else are you gonna do?

I took a bite of one of the Serranos–ouch. They are super hot. There’s no way we’ll use all of them. We’ll have to give the rest away or string them up and make a chile necklace to dry out. I learned something new about how to rate the spiciness of chiles. There’s an actual index call the Scoville Index that measures the amount of Capsaicin in a pepper. There’s almost none in a red or green pepper and quite a lot in a habanero, jalapeno, or serrano. The rooftop serranos pack a punch!


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