I can See their Markings Early On

It was a dark and rainy morning when I headed off to work, but fortunately the skies cleared in the afternoon which will make our overnight frost even more likely. Oh well, it’s the 21st of October and still not even one night of frost in North Iowa. I do know we came very close about a week ago in the lowlands, but it was still about one degree off. When thinking back today over those years when we had mega gardens, it wasn’t unheard of to have a light frost in the first half of September, and here we are, past the first half of October and most likely early tomorrow morning will usher in our first. If there’s anyone out there who’s still in denial over global warming, then I’d assure them all they’re living in complete and utter denial.

Most of my morning was spent with my last minute tidying up of my “drying area” which I’ve used over the years to dry hot chile plants, and then hanging this year’s bumper crop up to dry. Over the many off-years in which I’ve planted them, this season’s crop did the best, and with no early frost, nearly all of them had gone to full maturity with their bright red chile peppers of various sizes. I dare not tell exactly how many because you’ll likely think I was crazy to have planted such a number, but if you only knew how many people I gift the final ground product to, you’d understand. Yes, there are those who always come back for more.

People who’ve received and used it in their cooking, have asked what kind they are, and I always respond by saying, “They’re likely the end product of years of inter-breeding with three different types, and have now possibly come to be a type unto their own. There were five plants which produced what appeared to be bright red jalapenos, and when I tasted them, they were very similar but not as hot as some of our modern types of green jalapenos. I am saving the seeds over, and will likely have a patch of them next year as my experimentals. Of course I couldn’t possibly dry them because whenever attempting to naturally dry a meaty pepper, they end in a sort of rot.

It’s a four to five month process before they’re fully dried, picked off their withered plants, de-stemmed and then ground into a colorful course powder. It’s been three years since I had a good crop of them, and thank goodness I now have enough to last just about as long or longer. The two gallon jar I had filled three years ago, is now almost completely empty. A contractor I often use received a small package of them from me several days ago. He said he likes a little spice, but nothing on the order of habanero’s which I absolutely cannot stomach. Anyone who likes those nasty things must enjoy torturing their mouths and digestive systems. The chile powder I give away is nothing like that, but the first time given, I warn the person that it’s a “hot” that’ll creep up, so taking it slow and easy is the best way to grow accustomed to it. It was a long morning, but when finished, I looked at those beauties while thanking Mother Nature for giving us a long growing season this year.

I’m going to be covering up my San Marzano tomatoes tonight and likely the following three, and after that, they should have another good long week to ripen. There are three specialty tomato plants in another area which are still producing which I’ll also cover. I’m getting my fill of fresh tomatoes and loving it. Since I don’t like greenhouse tomatoes, it’s best I get a good filling of the fresh until next season arrives. What I’ve found rather strange this year, is nearly everyone’s gardens have been stripped bare for weeks now. As far as I’m concerned, a late garden supplies the best tasting veggies.

My entire afternoon was spent working with buyers, dropping off another box of “paying it forward” items which will definitely be going to a good cause. After delivering them and then hearing what they’ll be used for, I became a bit teary-eyed. Without question, we have people living in North Iowa who’re quietly doing great things for others.

Another meeting I had, was with the sellers on one of my listings, and only for the reason of my having to go over a request for repairs that was submitted by the selling agent. Thank goodness I forewarned my sellers about the nit-picking that particular home inspector does whenever called to do his so-called “inspection”. I personally don’t like him because I believe him to be a male chauvinist, and the wife of my seller would be in complete agreement due to what the inspector said to her while he was poking around in their home. I continue to smile to myself when knowing he missed something in a home which I caught, and only due to my acute sense of smell. Yes, there always has to be those “bull” males out there who think they know everything, and having to be around one of them for too many years, I can see their markings early on. My sellers are going to think about what they’ll be willing to do and then give me a call tomorrow morning.

I had another showing over in Nora Springs, and today’s was far better than the last, and I won’t be surprised if they’ll be making an offer on it. There is one more that’s still available which I’ll likely be showing them tomorrow.

What caught my eye again, was seeing on today’s listing that the home was built in 1930 which was about sixty years off. The floor joisting of that home was something I’d never seen which prompted me to take several photos of them. The original portion of that home’s framing was built with native and locally milled white oak which appeared as strong today as they were when installed. It’s likely the best I’ve shown them thus far.  They have been an absolute delight to work with.

Tonight’s One-liner is: The people with big dreams are more powerful than the ones with all the facts.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur


JoeChodurbeganhisrealestatecareerin1981duringthe...read more about: Joe Chodur

View page.