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Dried-Pepper Hangings Instruction Sheet

Having enough food to eat was a constant concern for the early New England colonists. They feared hunger and starvation, especially during the last weeks of winter. In the fall season, they prepared and stored as much food as possible for the coming months. One common Colonial method of food preservation was air-drying fruits and vegetables. The Indians taught the Pilgrims what foods to preserve and how to sun-dry them. When winter came, the fruits and vegetables were soaked in water and cooked. In the meantime, strings of dried fruit and vegetables hung in many Colonial homes. They not only helped feed the colonists during the winter months, but they also decorated homes and created pleasant scents. Two common vegetables that were hung and dried included peppers and corn.

Some of the easiest and most attractive hangings can be made using red or green peppers. Try making a pepper hanging by following these easy directions.

Materials Needed:

  • Sharp knife
  • Needle and strong thread
  • Scissors
  • Green and/or red peppers
Steps to Dried-Pepper Hangings:
  1. Wash and dry several red and/or green peppers.
  2. String peppers with a needle on a piece of strong thread.
  3. After stringing the peppers, hang them in a high place where they will receive good ventilation.
  4. (Optional) You may want to string the peppers in clusters instead of in a row. For a touch of brightness, tie a yarn bow at the top of the cluster. Dried pepper hangings add an attractive decoration to any room and make delightful gifts.

Return to Make a Dried Bouquet lesson plan.

Excerpt from America: Ready-to-Use Interdisciplinary Lessons & Activities for Grades 5-12

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