An Italian Heirloom Meets A Hawaiian Superstar
Meet 'Kaʻala', a brilliant red, 3 to 4" sweet bell pepper, released by CTAHR (Hawaii) in the early 1990ʻs, developed for places in Hawaii and the sub-tropics that have limited sweet pepper production due to a bacterial wilt disease, Pseudomonus solanaceraium.
(Kaʻala) was the result of cross breeding between 'Chabai Merah' a standard cayenne-type pepper grown in Western Malaysia, highly resistant to bacterial wilt and root-knot nematode and 'Keystone Resistant Giant', a sweet bell pepper. The objective of the cross was a bell pepper with good pungent taste and resistance to bacterial wilt disease and root-knot nematodes. After 15 years of continuous selection 'Kaʻala' was introduced.
Kaʻala has been a consistently good producing pepper for me and I have been growing, selecting and saving seed from it for the past 5 years, adapting it to our farm location in Lower Puna, Hawai’i.
Meet Corno di Toro 'Giallo', a BIG (up to 8" long) "golden girl" of an Italian heirloom with a large following of pepper aficionados. Long, thin skinned with luscious thick, sweet flesh it is perfect for grilling, stuffing or eating raw.
For the past year and a half my ʻGialloʻ plants have been producing pounds of peppers non-stop. Each day they greet me with their bursts of sunny color, I fondly refer to them as my ʻHawaiian Sunrays'.
This year I decided to explore what a cross between these two outstanding peppers would produce. Sweet peppers are self-pollinating and a cross pollination requires new skills but experimentation and surprises keep the "F"-U-N in farming. We will begin growing the first generation this fall. Sharing seed with the Hawaiʻi Seed Growers Network provides an expanded opportunity for evaluation in a greater diversity of micro-climates as we select, identify and stabilize exciting new and improved varieties for Hawaiʻi's farmers and gardeners.
Stay tuned and follow our blog as we explore the success of the marriage of 'Hawaiian Ka-Sun.'