Salsa Pepper Project

Report for FS05-189

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2005: $9,660.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Southern
State: Tennessee
Principal Investigator:
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Project Information


Small family farmers in the south will no longer have tobacco as a way to earn money to pay property taxes, pay the extra cost for gasoline and make the truck payments. “In order for farmers to keep what we have and keep our kids on the farm rather than selling out to the real estate developers we need to grow different crops and have a better way to market what we grow.” This producer plans to grow different crops that favor her soil and climate and water. She is choosing peppers. This past year she grew different peppers to see what they looked like, what they tasted like, how they grew and what foods they could be made into. She especially looked at salsa and which varieties could be used to make a salsa for half the cost of regular tomato salsa. She has determined how to grow the peppers to get the best production and how to space the plants to get a tractor down the rows for weed control. In this project, she will show that the varieties that can be sold fresh or made into delicious salsa can be grown with no pesticides and with the same fertilizer used on tobacco. She will also demonstrate how many plants can fit on an acre and how many pounds can be obtained per plant. She estimates that she can fit 6000 – 7,000 plants per acre and get at least three pounds of peppers per plant. She will demonstrate the best way to pick the peppers and how to pack and process them. She’ll also show how to dehydrate peppers and get the seed from them for next years’ crop. She will market the peppers, seeds and salsa locally and through the Internet


Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.