Pepper is propagated by cuttings and takes about six to seven years to produce a good crop. A vine usually produces for 15 years. The fruit hangs as a drupe and is first a shiny glossy green, then red, and then black. It should be harvested when the first red appears. It is a difficult crop to gather, because it ripens unevenly and birds enjoy the ripe berries. The highest yield comes from distilling fresh, crushed fruit via steam distillation.