Hot, hot, hot! It’s hot here in South Carolina, but don’t worry Whoop-Whoop, our homegrown sweet peppers are NOT!
The last couple of years we have been trying to grow some additional produce on the IPPL grounds.
For years we have done this successfully with fruit. Muscadine grapes have always been very productive (we harvest them in the late summer). Lately we have been having better luck blackberries (early summer) and with blueberries (our caregiver Stacy was picking some just this morning). Fresh bamboo shoots (in the spring) have long been popular with the gibbons, too.
Garden veggies have been harder to grow, since our soil here is not the greatest. However, over the past year or so we benefited from some volunteers who have created and improved upon a couple of raised veggie beds, using compost and mulched borders, so that we have been able to harvest some additional homegrown organic produce for the gibbons.
Our chard (which I had always considered a cool weather crop) had defied the odds until the last week or so, producing a steady supply of new leaves that our staff harvested periodically. More recently, our little plots have produced some sweet banana peppers, which our gibbons enjoy raw. We’ve been picking them when they’re 4 to 6 inches long. And we should have an eggplant ready soon, too.
It’s super-local if the produce is growing right in the middle of IPPL’s main gibbon yard, within sight of a dozen or so veggie-loving gibbons!