Ever since I was first introduced to it, the Ghost Pepper has been my favorite pepper in the world, or at least my favorite pepper that I've met so far. Weighing in at over One Million Scoville Heat Units, this pepper is three times hotter than a habanero and a former "world's hottest pepper."

With highly productive plants, attractive fruit, and a searing flavor, it's a must have for any "hot head!"

Sometimes, things will have that nostalgic look of yesteryear in a manner attractive enough to grace the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. Sometimes, it won't even be on purpose.

As we transition to a simpler, more self-reliant lifestyle, it is interesting to see how some things unintentionally come together in a way that is not only incredibly attractive, but also extremely practical and usedful.

Seriously, what happened to craftsmanship and care? While my parents were visiting recently, a couple of things caught my attention. In this vlog, I share a bit about what I learned.

These things make new sections like crazy, and they propagate very easily from cuttings. With so many right now, I'm actually shipping some around the US for free, just to bless other gardeners who want to try growing some dragonfruit. In zones 10 and 11, they should be able to be planted directly into the soil outside.

Further north, they'll need to be moved indoors for the winter, but be warned, these plants can get really big and heavy. Let me know if you are interested in some free cuttings, and we'll figure out how you can get me a valid US shipping address.

We stopped at a grocery store in Missouri on our drive back from St. Louis and were able to pick up two and three pound bags of apples for $1 USD each! The bags of Honeycrisps had about eight apples in the two pound bags and the bags of Fujis had about thirteen apples in the three pound bags. For $1 each, that's a lot of apples.

We are currently dehydrating them to make some apple chips to enjoy this winter. We've got a long way to go, but they are so delicious and we've got a great start!

As I travel around and meet up with different steemians, I like to interview them to introduce them to all of you. This one was slightly less structured, but it'll still allow you to hear a bit about @thejebi and give you a bit of a flavor for him.

Link to @thejebi on steemit:
Link to @monotharch on steemit:
@Monotharch interview video link:
Enjoy it!

This sure reminds us of Wisconsin. Although it has snowed since we moved to the Ozarks, this was the first time since it actually snowed since we moved onto our land.

In this video, I do a small, quick tour of the animals mostly. Honestly, I'll be glad to be getting less snow than we did in Wisconsin.

Well, since I showed you how to pick the fruit last time, I figured I'd show you the method that we use to cut them up and eat the fruit.

Since Prickly Pear Fruit (AKA "Tuna") is a delicious, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory food, we like to invite them to join us for dinner or a snack whenever possible. However, the tiny little spines can make things a little difficult. For that reason, I'll show you the simple method that I use to cut them up and remove the skin.

With a texture similar to that of a watermelon, this fruit is an excellent snack and can also be used for a wide variety of things. The only warning that I'll make sure to give is that they are full of very hard seeds, which we usually swallow whole. I figure that's easier than breaking a tooth.

Raised beds are a popular and effective way to grow gardens. In this video, I show you how I prepare the raised beds for winter, which also prepares them for the spring.

When removing the "leftovers" from the current growing season, I collect seeds for the next year, feed some of the plant material to the livestock, and compost the rest. I add a healthy layer of rabbit manure or compost to the top of the barren bed, and then cover the raised bed in straw.

The manure and compost will continue to break down throughout the winter months and the straw will prevent weed seeds from growing and help keep moisture in the bed. Enjoy the video!

Prickly Pear Cacti are completely edible and they also produce a delicious fruit. However, whether it's the hard spines or the tiny prickers, some risk is involved in handling and picking them.

The best way that I know is to use a pair of tongs. This not only works for picking the fruit or pads, but also for holding them still while cutting them up to eat.

Interestingly enough, they also work well for venomous snakes:

Some time back, I noticed a cow rib with "Montana Back Scratcher" painted on it at a friend's house, but I didn't realize how well it actually worked.

While walking in a local creek, we found our own cow rib and I intended on grinding it up as a soil amendment, but I gave it a try as a back scratcher first. Long story short, this bone will not be used in the garden, it'll be my new best friend instead.

With the freeze coming, I had just hours to make my move. Plants like Pitaya (Dragonfruit), GAC Fruit, and some Tamarillos were moved inside while the peppers and herbs were harvested one last time.

In the end, I'll call it a success. It's a hard time of year to watch the garden die, but we saved what we could. Now, we wait for spring.


Upon my return from Texas and Mexico, I had less than a week before the hard freeze would be upon us. In this video, I mostly prepare emotionally for the death of my garden.

Spring brings that new life and expectant hope of the food to come. Throughout the summer and fall, we enjoy the fruits of our labor. Then, the cold of winter comes and kills everything... and so we await the spring once again.

Isn't it interesting that with over 50 varieties of avocados growing around the world, most people can only recognize the "Hass" avocado, or other more popular varieties?

These were picked by a lady we met in Texas, right off of the tree. When she asked a group of four adults if we knew what they were, only I recognized them as an avocado.

I'm not even sure of the exact variety, but I was glad to get a chance to not only see it, but also to eat it! Enjoy the video!

This tiny pepper certainly packs a punch. Straight out of Mexico, I brought these back from a recent trip. When you can pick up hundreds of these tiny peppers for roughly one cent each, it's a great deal in my opinion.

A common pepper across the southern United States and northern Mexico, it weighs in at up to about 60,000 SHU which puts it in the area of Cayenne Peppers, and more than twice as hot as a Serrano. These tiny peppers are commonly eaten by birds and can be found growing in the wild as well, partially due to the assistance of the birds.

Although these peppers can be grown as an annual in any garden, in areas where the temperatures remain above freezing in the winter, they will continue to grow for years, and I've seen some amazing little bushes. Enjoy the video!

We like to live a very different life than the one that we used to live. Not all that long ago, our food came from the store. We would use what we wanted and then throw the rest in the garbage can to make its way to the landfill, where it could rot and be buried for the future generations....

Now, we like to use it all. It's not even to try to be "greener" it's just because it makes sense. In this case, a squash was being cut up to use later. The seeds got saved to plant, eat, and share with our animals, and the rind was going to be composted. At the last moment, I had an idea and decided to blend up the rind of the squash to feed to our poultry. It's such a blessing to be able to have no waste in situations like this, and to be able to repeat the process, year after year!

The saltwater of the sea has some incredibly healthy benefits, and as long as you don't overdo it, it can be good for your hair too. As a natural rinse/shampoo, the ocean is something that I like to take advantage of whenever I can, sometimes even bringing a bottle or two of it home with me.

On our recent trip to South Padre Island, I enjoyed a good soak and rinse. I share a bit about it in this video. Enjoy!


Created 2 weeks, 1 day ago.

17 videos


A wildman of a homesteader attempting to live peacefully and organically in the middle of the Ozarks with his wife and children. Whether gardening, raising livestock, or just having fun with wild creatures, Papa-pepper enjoys life to the fullest and likes to bring his family and viewers along for the ride.