EUGENE, Ore. — What may be the hottest pepper in the world, is being grown in West Eugene. One man’s backyard has been successfully transformed into a chile pepper paradise.
John Ford’s backyard is packed with plants, most of them hot peppers. He started growing them four years ago as a hobby. Then last year, he created Ford’s Fiery Foods and got his nursery license to sell seeds and plants.
“I got this bug to grow the hottest, the rarest of varieties from all over the world and next thing you know, my backyard and a couple of other locations are completely filled with peppers,” says Ford.
He now grows 60 different varieties, which is a challenge in Oregon’s wet and cool climate. Ford now plants seeds indoors starting in December.
Ford is also creating his own variety – the Stinger. Ford’s goal is to grow the hottest peppers. A jalepeno pepper is between 5,000 and 8,000 on the Scoville scale. Scoville heat units measure the amount of capsaicin oil. The more oil, the hotter it is. The pepper in Ford’s garden is in the millions on the Scoville scale.
The Brazilian Ghost pepper is believed to be the hottest of them all. It’s a three way cross between the Bhut Jolokia (aka ghost pepper), Seven Pot Douglah and the Trinidad Scorpian, but it hasn’t measured it on the Scoville scale yet.
Ford wants to someday see his peppers at local nurseries and restaurants, but he also wants to contribute to medical research. Studies by the American Association for Cancer Research suggest capsaicin is able to kill prostate cancer and lung cancer.
To learn more about Ford’s peppers, click here.