Green Country Seed Savers ready to meet and share

Green Country Seed Savers share seeds and plants. A few members grew ajicito this year.

Green Country Seed Savers will be meeting on Sunday, Oct. 4, at 2 p.m., at St. Basil's Episcopal Church, 814 N. Vinita Ave. in Tahlequah.

"This is one of the most exciting months to meet, as most of us are bringing in lots of seed, as well as being able to give a report on varietal performance for the season," said member George McLaughlin. "One of the things which our group really works at, is trialing vegetable varieties to find those which perform excellently in Oklahoma's extreme climate."

One of the group's experiments this year was to grow ajicito, a sweet pepper that looks like it should be blazing hot, according to McLaughlin.

"Ajicito is a Panamanian pepper, which in its native environment is so ubiquitous that it doesn't merit any special name. It's name simply means 'little pepper.' But, as is sometimes the case, a variety from one place of extreme weather (hot) may become a superstar in another, similar location," said McLaughlin. "It has a slightly different flavor than a typical bell pepper but nevertheless, it's sweet."

Since it is from an different species than bell peppers, ajicito has more resistance to what ails most bell peppers.

"This pepper is extremely prolific and grows on a compact plant," said McLaughlin. "What's more, it thrives, even on neglect. I planted nine plants on the far end of my garden, where they received almost no attention, yet didn't lose a single plant. I gave a number of plants to another gardener who reported the same success."

This pepper is hardy, and it can be easily grown in containers on account of its small size.

"I had stopped growing sweet peppers because of the hassle, but ajicito has earned a permanent place in the garden. Its pods are just the right size for snacking. I just eat them whole," he said. "The only place to get this seed is rural Panama or - Green Country Seed Savers. We will be working to get the seed out so that others can enjoy it, too."

New visitors are welcome to meet the Seed Savers, and the meetings are informal times of garden discussion and sharing of seeds and plants.

"Visit us on our website too. There we have members from other countries and states," said McLaughlin. "Now is a great time to learn how to save seed."

For more information, visit seedsavingnetwork.proboards.com, or call or email McLaughlin at 918-457-8284 or georgemclaughlinjr@gmail.com.

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