Recently learned: It acts like a perennial in warm climates and an annual in colder climates. The seeds are used as a laxative in China.
Already knew: Jalepenos are a spicy, although not super spicy pepper. The spicy part is from capsaicin in the seeds and membranes. If you remove those before you cook them, they are less spicy. You should also wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes after cutting them up, although I usually forget that. Obviously they are good teat in a variety of ways. You can dry fresh ones by threading them on a string and hanging them to dry in the sun. You can more easily cut dried ones by chopping them up with scissors. They turn red after you pick them or as the growing season ends.
Recently learned: I don't see anything immediately on Wikipedia that I don't already know about them, and I'm not going to look any further.
Already knew: Bell peppers are not spicy and big enough to eat like a vegetable. They also want a lot of heat and a lot of sun to grow, and therefore they don't grow very well here. Green bell peppers are frequently just under ripe peppers that would have turned red or yellow if given time. Colored peppers have more vitamin c then green ones.
Recently learned: These are called a number of different things depending on the country. Oddly, in India it's called capsicum along with the traditional name, which is odd since they don't contain capsicum.
Already knew: Bamboo is native to China. Pandas eat it. It is a quick growing woody grass and can be used as wood, fabric, and food, so it is the darling of the renewable resource community. Unfortunately, forests are being cleared to plant bamboo to keep up with the demand. This is a very skinny bamboo, so I can't imagine I could actually turn it into yarn or something. In this climate, it is an invasive species sending runners out to propagate itself unless you put a metal strip around the inside of the hole you plant it in. It's also a pain to remove.
Recently learned: Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, capable of growing up to 24 inches or more per day due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. Most bamboo species flower only every 60 to 120 years, and instead it propagates by forming shoots from it's stem.
Already knew: This is an edible dark leafy green. It's better cooked then raw. I especially like it sauteed and Moira is a fan of it baked. It grows fast and easily in most climates which is nice, which is why you can find Kale grown in Washington in the stores in winter.
Recently learned: Kale is a form of cabbage, but the leaves don't form in heads. Kale is sweeter and more flavorful after being exposed to a frost, and as such it freezes well. Ornamental kales (the pretty purple or white bunches people plant in flower borders) are exactly the same as the kales sold as food, as long as they haven't been treated with pesticides.
Already knew: Another dark leafy green. This one is Rainbow Chard. So called because of the colored stems. Unlike many other leafy greens, this one has a tasty and tender stem. This is also easy to grow in a variety of climates and most seasons.
Recently learned: Other names Chard is known by (according to Wikipedia) are Perpetual Spinach and Mangold.
Already knew: This is all over the place in my neighborhood. It has small white flowers and bright green leaves and is among the first things to flower in this area. I think this may be what I'm allergic to every spring. It has tiny plum shaped fruits.
Recently learned: The latin name is Omeleria and it is a member of the rose family native to the Pacific coast. Native Americans ate the fruit, made tea from the bark and chewed the twigs as an anesthetic and an aphrodisiac.
Already knew: A pink flower shaped like a heart. It likes to grow in shady spots and is all over the woods near our house.
Recently learned: All parts of this plant is poisonous if ingested. Can you tell my steam for this project has really run out?
Already knew: This is the tiny local blackberry. It has larger flowers then the Himalayan variety and likes to grow in shady places. It's more sweet, has fewer pits and fruits earlier then the other Himalayan. Most of the information I can find is already here.