Two Years in the Kingdom- Pepper Farming

May 14, 2018

Hello All, and thanks for following me. Todays topic is pepper farming

Kampot is coastal town that is a mix of Cambodians, Europeans, Americans and Australians. It’s not a large town but has everything you could want. It has a very picturesque riverside with shops and restaurants with many different types of food that is mostly divided between Khmer and Western. Due to the number of foreigners living here, English is widely spoken. There are things to do in and around Kampot such as hiking in the mountains to the waterfalls, exploring caves containing ancient Buddhist shrines, and the ocean resort of Kep is 25k from Kampot. I spent the day learning about the harvesting of the famous Kampot pepper and the sea salt. In this post we’ll cover pepper from the Kampot pepper farm. As you can see in the pictures the pepper is grown as vines that wind around poles. The vines take three years to reach maturity. I’m holding a some of the green pepper corns to see how these are picked by hand and placed in these large woven baskets. The red pepper is separated from the green by hand. There is no difference between the red and the green except maturity and flavor. White pepper is simply the red pepper with the skin removed. The green pepper corns turn to black pepper after they have been boiled. The guides at the farm recommend white pepper for fish, red pepper for meats and black pepper for cooking for you connoisseurs of pepper. Cambodians make a dip for fresh vegetables of pepper, sea salt and lime juice that can really go with meat, fish, chicken and vegetables. A super tasty treat is dried banana chips that is sprinkled with the dip.

Disclaimer: The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Cambodian Government.

This is a book review I had received from KirKus Review for one of my young adult novels “The Gift of Phineas Lake”. Kirkus is well known for their high standards in regards to book reviews since they began in 1933. Needless to say, I was very pleased with their review. Please take a moment and read through it. All ordering information is on this website.

A quick, compelling historical novel with a magical touch.

Rizzo uses historical figures and facts as the foundation for this suspenseful story within a story about the Underground Railroad and racial tension in antebellum industrial Pennsylvania. The book begins in 1897, when Jake and Gordy, two boys, get curious about an abandoned house in town—the former home of the titular Phineas Lake, who disappeared 50 years ago under mysterious circumstances. Though most adults discourage the boys from inquiring further, Gordy’s grandfather Cooper reveals that he was Phineas’ childhood best friend, and he’s just the first of many who begin to tell the boys about Phineas as they piece together the true story of what happened. Phineas had been blessed with a miraculous healing touch—able to cure any wound or illness with his hands alone—but he did his best to keep his gift a secret, since Rev. Davis, the village preacher, was quick to condemn such a thing as witchcraft. During the night,

however, Phineas would heal the freed slaves—the closest doctor refused to treat them—who worked at the iron furnace in town. After a nearby Underground Railroad conductor realized how Phineas’ skills could be used to help the exhausted and sick fugitives, Phineas (along with young Cooper) became a fugitive himself, only returning to town after a terrible storm brings on a deadly fever among the locals. The racist, magic-fearing Rev. Davis, however, hardly gives

him a warm homecoming; it isn’t long before he’s calling for Phineas to be killed. Rizzo’s story has plenty of momentum, and the boys’ eagerness to listen to each of Cooper’s tales works well, keeping the reader as enthralled as Jake and Gordy are. Though there’s not much historical nuance here, the book has an unassailable moral message that would be a great choice for YA readers with an interest in the history of American slavery.

A well-paced, engaging reimagining of antebellum Pennsylvania.

Disclaimer: The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Cambodian Government.


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