Hot peppers on a cool morning in Calaveras

Peppers growing at Taylor Mountain Gardens
Watercolor sketch in Cachet watercolor sketch book


Tuesday I drew peppers at Taylor Mountain Gardens (Read about why I am drawing at this farm here). With the (slightly) cooler temperatures of fall, the farm is fairly glowing in the sun. It’s rapidly becoming one of my favorite places to paint.

Pepper patch Watercolor sketch in Cachet watercolor sketchbook
Pepper patch
Watercolor sketch in Cachet watercolor sketchbook

I sat in the soil behind a hedge of habaneros, drawing brilliant late summer Capiscums. It’s interesting to see which peppers have kept their leaves. Some of the pepper varieties had  leaves that were worn out, yellowed and spotted with autumn; others sported the green foliage of summer. The little mustard habaneros had the freshest leaves of all.

There is an amazing array of peppers growing at the farm. Owner Eric Taylor says he’s growing about 20 varieties of hot chiles, and took me on a tour, handing me peppers like they were candies. “You want to be careful with these,” he warned. “They’re hot.” Now I’m afraid to touch them.

He’s planning on making hot sauce from this year’s crop. I’m not sure if I should be excited or scared to try it…

Habanero peppers
From top: Mustard habaneros;  chiltipin (also Texas bird chile)


Hot chile
Scotch bonnet (also orange habanero)


Red and yellow chiles
From left: African fatale; ghost chile


I’m excited to paint a layout of these at home. I’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, I have to ask, how can anything so beautiful create so much pleasurable pain?

You can buy these peppers (and hopefully the hot sauce), plus a bunch of other veggies at the Outer Aisle Farmstand, open on Thursdays, in Douglas Flat, just south of Murphys.