Hi friends. This morning when I was walking around my lovely garden and wondering what I should share with you guys these days because I haven’t posted any pieces since the last blog. Suddenly, this idea popped up in my mind. 
Why don’t I write something about organic black pepper which sits on almost every kitchen table? 
Imagine that many city dwellers or many in some areas might not know what this kind of pepper trees looks like, how to properly cultivate peppercorn seeds or when is the right time to harvest them. So this blog will let you know something about this fragrant spice.
Growing up in the Central Highland where mostly Vietnam peppercorns are cultivated, I usually see the way my parents take care of them carefully and technically as well as the process of turning organic peppercorns as raw materials to a sort of grey powder used for cooking. That is totally amazing !
But do you know its origin?
As far as I know, peppercorns originated in India, then France brought them to Vietnam in the 17th century and now Vietnam, as a result, became one of leading producers of pepper all over the world. I feel so grateful about that.
So have you known the integral factors required for planting organic pepper’s trees yet?
The first thing that must be mentioned in pepper cultivation is the soil which is fertile enough and porous with good drainage for its better growth. Moreover, the tropical monsoon climate, together with adequate hot and humid environment are ideal conditions for pepper trees to thrive the best. That’s why almost mountainous areas of the Highlands such as Dak Lak, Gia Lai or Dak Nong are considered as good places to plant pepper trees. As mentioned, the humidity is crucial. The best time in the year for farmers to provide peppercorns with adequate water is from January to May. This is also the time my dad waters pepper trees on our farm. I have to say I love helping my dad with this task because I can play with water while watering peppers but not in the early morning. It’s so cold.
I can say pepper cultivation is a hard but rewarding job for farmers like my parents or my uncle got. To realize the time when farmers should harvest peppercorns is desperately delicate. Normally, they are mostly harvested when they are still dark green, not too red and not too green because they will be easily crushed or not beautiful during the process of manufacturing pepper. I think that this part of the whole process is really time-consuming as you have to harvest by hand, not use any equipment to help. It seems to require significant patience to do that, I assume, but it is quite fun because it normally requires a crew of at least 2 people to work together, not alone. In fact, constant conversations will make time fly faster than you think. Give yourself a chance to experience this activity If you visit pepper farms. Believe me, It is super fun and memorable. 
Next, Let’s move on to the stage of drying when peppers will be spread to dry in the sun for a couple of days until they turn to be dark and ready to be crushed into powder. It sounds quite easy, doesn’t it? Absolutely, it doesn’t matter for experienced farmers like my parents but for me, everything seems so difficult.
In our farm, we do not use any harmful substances so peppercorns are totally free of pesticide and fertilizer. What my parents use to control pests is to use natural and biological pesticides which are considered to be much more environmentally friendly. Sometimes, I witnessed my parents, my uncle, my aunt suffering from the damage of peppercorns due to pests or diseases but they can’t do anything, except for cutting them down to avoid the spreading of diseases to other trees. I know they are really upset but no matter how much difficulty they face such as the market price, the output or pests, they have been keeping figuring out solutions and always put a lot of effort and time into developing this job. This is what makes me feel proud and inspired about the sustainable product that my family is cultivating.
Thank you for reading my blog and the next one might be something about our farm, I guess. I am really happy if you love it.