Avery Island Pepper Plants
This past October we took a cross country train trip on Amtrak’s Empire Builder, Capitol Limited, Acela, Crescent and the City of New Orleans. We stopped in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City, and New Orleans, before getting back to Portland and our car. When we got to New Orleans we rented a car for a side trip to Houston.
The drive out of New Orleans was, to say the least, amazing. It was only then that we were able to understand that New Orleans and its environs is all about water – marshes and swamps and bayous. Over the years we have talked about making the trip to Avery Island. Even if you are not a big fan of the hot sauce condiments, you are aware of Tabasco Sauce. So we turned up the AC (because it is damn hot in N.O. in October) and traveled to Avery Island.
The home of world-famous TABASCO® Sauce, Avery Island, Louisiana, lies about 140 miles west of New Orleans. Surrounded by swamps and marshes, Avery Island is a mysteriously beautiful place where the pepper fields grow, the factory hums, and the McIlhennys and their employees continue to live and work much as they have for generations.
After Hurricane Katrina and Rita in 2005 the Tabasco Company built a levee around their operation. This new levee helped to lessen the flood waters of Hurricane Ike in 2008. Tabasco is flowing.
Until recently, all of the peppers used to make Tabasco sauce were grown on Avery Island, Louisiana. While a small portion of the crop is still grown on the island, the bulk of the crop is now grown in Central and South America, where the weather and the availability of more farmland allow a more predictable and larger year-round supply of peppers. This also helps to ensure the supply of peppers should something happen to the crop at a particular location. All of the seeds are still grown on Avery Island. (Wiki)
Tabasco has a “store” on their property and as good tourists we did stock up on their various types of sauces and a packet of their pepper seeds. The north coast of California is NOT the place to grow hot pepper but we are going to give it a try. Most of the seeds I have passed on to Janet at Redwood Roots Farm. We hope that she’ll be able to see that the fruits of our travels produce. The seeds that we planted are now one month from germination, and seem to he happy in their south facing window home. I see a mini outdoor greenhouse in our future.