Jalapenos: A Lesson in Fear of Failure

I've been holding back on you.

That's right... I've totally neglected to tell you about one of the plants in my edible garden, and I did it on purpose.

I must be nuts!

I planted some jalapenos a while back.  A very, very long while back.  You'd think that I'd talk about it, letting you know its progress, and yet I didn't.  After a while, I finally asked myself...


I love jalapenos.  A lot.  All jalapenos, from mild to extra spicy, are enjoyable to me.  At first, that may seem like a good reason to document their growth.  I'd be able to go back through my posts and smile at the memories they brought back to me.

Yet, I held back.  I puzzled as to why for quite some time.

Then it hit me.

What if they failed?

If my jalapenos failed to grow, I'd be stuck with a super-huge reminder of it.  That documentation would be floating in cyberspace forever.... or at least a really long time.  While, in general, I'm glad to learn from my failures, I found that being reminded of such failure when growing my favorite fruit was something I wasn't willing to subject myself to.

Interesting, right?  The woman that thinks failure is awesome falls apart at the idea of failing in one simple endeavor.

Sounds like I need to do some extra soul searching...

The reason I figured out my problem was that I suddenly wanted to tell you all about my jalapenos.  I wondered why that was.  What brought this sudden change of heart?

Because I'll be harvesting some of them soon.  That's right:  I was finally able to mention them because the chances of any failure were slim.

I've always had a problem with growing jalapenos, which I think is part of the reason that my fear was so great.  Prior to now, I had always ended up with one or two fruits per plant.  A very tiny amount, indeed.  I worried that growing them on the opposite side of the country, in a cooler climate, would make things even harder for me.

I was wrong.


I started the jalapenos from seed at the end of winter, and kept them in a south facing window.  Once they had grown enough, a placed them into a Topsy-Turvy pepper planter that I had gotten on sale for half price. Planting them in-ground wasn't a very wise idea, due to the black walnut trees, so I hung them from the poles of our clothesline, safe in the planter.

The young plants were rather leggy, so I was worried that they wouldn't hold their own weight, but they're doing quite well.

I've lost a few fruits that couldn't get past the initial growth stage. The stems of the new fruits turned yellow, and broke off.

The jalapenos that made it through that point, however, have been growing strong.  I still have more deciding whether or not they'll grow to maturity, as well!

One of the things that may have helped my success here is that the seeds were from a local company, having been produced by Farmer Seed and Nursery Co. in Faribault.  They were harvested from plants that could handle the cool climate of southern Minnesota, as well as the tendency Minnesota has toward cloudy days.

I'm really happy about this success, and I think it's taught me a great lesson:

Don't hide from what you fear.  Embrace the challenge it brings.

Have you ever let fear of what could happen keep you from doing something you know you should do?  Something that would seem petty, or even ridiculous, to the average person?