Winnipeg man used pandemic as chance to start new hobby, growing hot peppers

WINNIPEG –

A Winnipeg man is turning the negativity of the pandemic into a positive by developing a new skill.

Usually during the winter months, Udo Staschik spends his time in the South Pacific but because of the COVID-19 pandemic that hasn’t been possible.

He said he had become very bored over the last year and a half and so he started working on a new project, growing hot peppers.

“A friend, he had his pepper tree which is, no kidding, 10 feet tall, eight feet wide,” said Staschik. “So I thought if he can do it, I can do it.”

Udo Staschik has grown over 20 different kinds of hot peppers during the pandemic. Sept. 22, 2021. (Source: Jamie Dowsett/CTV News)

Udo Staschik has grown over 20 different kinds of hot peppers during the pandemic. Sept. 22, 2021. (Source: Jamie Dowsett/CTV News)

So Staschik started to grow a variety of hot peppers and filled his back yard with them, noting during the summer he had around 100 plants.

“I guess I have right now about 20, maybe 25 different types, going from super unbearable hot that I would only offer my enemy and some that are absolutely great.”

Udo Staschik has grown over 20 different kinds of hot peppers during the pandemic. Sept. 22, 2021. (Source: Jamie Dowsett/CTV News)

(Source: Jamie Dowsett/CTV News)

Staschik said the main reason he starting growing the peppers is because it was the best way to bring the winter destinations he travels to, to Winnipeg.

“In my head, I’m sitting there and I can look into the lush greens and I feel like, ‘Well, okay, I am doing a bit of a holiday here.'”

Udo Staschik has grown over 20 different kinds of hot peppers during the pandemic. Sept. 22, 2021. (Source: Jamie Dowsett/CTV News)

(Source: Jamie Dowsett/CTV News)

He added this activity has become very fun for him and it helps fulfil his curious side seeing what he is able to grow.

“And a challenge for myself. I want to see if I can grow (them).”

Udo Staschik has grown over 20 different kinds of hot peppers during the pandemic. Sept. 22, 2021. (Source: Jamie Dowsett/CTV News)

(Source: Jamie Dowsett/CTV News)

Staschik said he hopes to continue this new passion and hopes it will show other people it is possible to be done in Winnipeg and that Winnipeggers don’t have to buy their hot peppers from international markets, they can come straight from local growers in the city.

Udo Staschik has grown over 20 different kinds of hot peppers during the pandemic. Sept. 22, 2021. (Source: Jamie Dowsett/CTV News)

(Source: Jamie Dowsett/CTV News)

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