What a treat it is to grow your own food, the satisfaction is enormous.
As a beginner gardener I used to buy numerous packets of seeds, browsing through catalogues and gazing at the vast varieties available at the garden centres. Now a little more experienced I have come to realise you can grow lots of fruits and vegetables just buy collecting their seeds. Great if you buy a tasty variety and want to grow future crops.
We like spicy food in our family and Hungary is the perfect place to experiment with the wide variety of peppers available. Having bought some spicy paprika peppers I immediately started collecting their seeds. Hungary is famous for hot paprika. The paprika peppers are known as spice peppers. They are easy and very interesting to grow. In the earlier stages, these peppers are a dark green, but when ripe, they are an impressive red. Boldog Hungarian Spice pepper comes from a small but well known spice pepper district northeast of Budapest around the towns of Boldog and Cece. We live thirty minutes from this area. The fruits are 1-1/2 inches wide and about 7 inches long. Growers let them turn dark red and dry on the plant or pick them and thread them on a string. Then allow them to dry, villagers sometimes hang them around their houses making an interesting picture. They are then ready to grind into powder.
So, having decided to collect the seeds, I washed and dried them out, laying them on a piece of kitchen towel for about a week. Once dried I planted one seed per pot with general purpose potting compost. Now three weeks later they are sitting on a sunny windowsill until the danger of frosts have passed. I shall then transplant them to their final position to grow and bloom.
As a final tip, once you have collected your seeds, package and label them so you are sure to know what you are growing in the future.