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Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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Pick a Peck of Peppers Plus Some!

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When you look at a pepper, what do you think about? What do you see?

I still remember vividly the first meeting I was in where a bowl of bell peppers was passed around and people bit into them like apples! I was still thinking of bell peppers as the kind of things my mom cooked in spaghetti sauce.

Coworkers handed me the red, orange and yellow produce and encouraged me to try it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to bite that off, but then I looked around and several others were doing it. Seemed like it was worth a shot!

That led me to think about bell peppers a little differently. Those are our BellaFina sweet baby bell peppers. They not only taste good but give you a burst of vitamin C! Thanks to plant breeders who have been improving the taste and appearance of peppers and the results are impressive.

I’m pretty sure the next time I walk into the produce section of my local grocery or the next time I eat something with peppers in it, I will see something totally different than I would have a week or so ago.

What changed?

Bailey Farms peppers

I had the chance to go to Bailey Farms in South Florida this week. Randy and Debbie Bailey grow a bunch of different types of peppers and I got to meet up with a group of Florida bloggers to tour the farm and the packaging facility.

The Baileys grow the BellaFina sweet baby bell peppers that made me think about peppers as a tasty, healthy snack option.

Now I not only have the faces of some of the farmers who grow them in mind I can picture so much more!

  • I can see the fields they may come from — long rows in small groups for each color. The small plants with stakes and a combination of young green peppers and the brighter mature ones side by side.
  • Running alongside the rows, I see flowers that are planted to attract pirate bugs that are beneficial insect that keep those bad thrips in check or tall vegetation to break the wind before it hits the pepper plants.
  • As rain rolls in, I can see farmer Mike headed to the field to pump water off the field into the irrigation ditches.
  • I can see bloggers enjoying picking each individual pepper with great smiles on their faces or a professional harvest crew coming in and focused on the task, pulling peppers so fast they amaze me!
  • And I can see folks in the packaging house, culling the peppers that are damaged and sending the others on to the conveyor unit where they are weighed, sorted & put into bags and boxes.
  • I can even see an 18-wheeler loading up to take peppers to the retailer knowing folks like me will be buying the in the coming days.

And to think, I will be able to remember all of that while I am in my neighborhood grocery!

If you would like to get more of these images in your head too, check out Bailey Farms’ website (it has 7,000 pepper recipes), or their efforts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! They will make you want to try BellaFina & other peppers…. You will be happy you did! And you may just find your family a new great snack!

1 Responses to "Pick a Peck of Peppers Plus Some!"

  1. Pingback: My Interview with the Director of Social Media for Monsanto » Julie DeNeen

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