Pepper, pepper, pepper – god of the spice trade, still the number one best selling spice around the world. Most pepper production takes place in Vietnam but it is grown throughout the tropics.
Traditionally pepper is grown up long poles and the vine climbs high. Harvesting is a challenge as large ladders and scaffolds are needed.
The pepper research centre in Bogor, Indonesia have been experimenting with different ways to grow pepper and have developed a method which takes a cutting from a traditional tall vine and creates a bush that is low and wide and highly productive with the very same crop as the mother plant. 5 Eyes farm will grow 100 pepper ‘bushes’.
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. When dried, the fruit is known as a peppercorn. When fresh and fully mature, it is approximately 5 millimetres (0.20 in) in diameter, dark red, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed. Peppercorns, and the ground pepper derived from them, may be described simply as pepper, or more precisely as black pepper (cooked and dried unripe fruit), green pepper (dried unripe fruit) and white pepper (ripe fruit seeds).