Posted by: Dave DeWitt on Oct 17, 2008
Dr. Paul Bosland of the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at NMSU and director of the Chile Pepper Institute, has announced the release of two new chile pepper cultivars, 'NuMex 6-4 Heritage' and 'NuMex Big Jim Heritage'. The project was the result of observations from farmers that these two varieties were losing flavor and yield. Beginning with seeds from the original '6-4' and 'Big Jim' varieties that had been in cryrogenic storage for more that 40 years, Paul grew out the old seeds and selected the best pods for the following year's planting. This went on for 10 years! Finally, this year, a large field was planted that will result in seeds for farmers for next year's crop. They will be available for farmers in January, 2009 and for home gardeners from the Chile Pepper Institute. The research and work NMSU resulted in numerous improvements that include 20 percent more flavor compounds than the old Big Jim and 6-4 varieties, and will produce a better yield for farmers. Pictured above is a basket of 'NuMex 6-4 Heritage'. Incidentally, in September, 2009 Timber Press will publish Paul's and my new book, The Complete Chile Pepper Book, with 240 color photos, many by our European editor, Harald Zoschke.