There is archaeological evidence of wild peppers being cultivated for human consumption as far back as 5000 BC. Chili peppers were thought, for centuries, to have originated in India, but they actually come from South America.
By the late 16th century, peppers were used in all regions of the world, especially in Europe and India.
There are many different varieties of peppers. They come in all shapes, colours and sizes. However, there are two main types:
Growing note: Generally, you will need fewer chili pepper plants as they produce many chili peppers, as oppose to sweet pepper plants which will produce fewer fruits.
But decide on what you and your family will eat. If you don’t use hot spices in your food very often, just grow one or two chili pepper plants.
Peppers are very high in vitamins A and C. The beta-carotene and lycopene content, especially in mature red fruits, means the pepper has antioxidant properties and has been proven to act on free radicals in the body.
Red peppers contain twice the amount of vitamin as green peppers.
Peppers also help the body absorb iron and calcium and are a beneficial food for convalescing patients. The inner white pulpy part is often discarded but is edible and contains a supply of flavonoids, which again has anti-oxidant properties.
Chili peppers should be eaten in moderation, especially if you have a delicate stomach or aren’t used to hot spicy foods.
Text taken from this handy downloadable growing guide:
How to Grow Peppers (updated edition)
Available from onlne bookstores over at our Mini Guides page