Red peppers are the most appropriate vegetable I can think of for planting in your front yard. The Red Bird is the symbolic animal for the front yard, and certain small hot peppers are actually called bird peppers. The plants have a spreading habit (as opposed to a vertical habit which represents the Turtle; see my earlier post on okra for more about vertical plants in your yard). The growth habit reminds me of miniature trees, and when they are loaded with ripe peppers, they look so festive!
The bell peppers pictured above came from our garden. They’re from seeds from a pepper that Karen Falkowski, one of my dear old high school friends, gave me. They’re each about the size of my fist. The flesh is thick & sweet. I don’t know the variety, but we’ve grown them for about six years now. It’s very easy to save pepper seeds for planting.
Peppers do have a few pests—right now ours are plagued by some rats, and in the past we’ve had birds eating the fruit. Red birds need the pigment from red food to make their red feathers.
I own three books on peppers, but they mostly concern hot peppers. Bell peppers are my favorite and I could eat them every day. They’re extremely nutritious andare delicious raw or cooked. My second favorite pepper is the pimento, which is not hot, although the seeds have a mild heat. Pimentos are a true workhorse—they keep producing and producing. When we have more than we can eat, we pickle them.