I’m writing to you as the sun is shining and we’ve finally emerged from the 7 atmospheric rivers that hit California and dropped 18.6 inches of rain here in Boonville over 18 days. That’s just about as much rain as we received all last year. Things are wet and green here and our pond is totally full, something I haven’t seen before. We’re incredibly lucky that we didn’t have any major damage on the farm like folks in other parts of the state. Thanks to those of you that sent us messages hoping that we were faring okay.

irrigation pond

We ended 2022 strong and ready to take a break and the rain offered that to us, something we all really needed. With the sun up, we’ve completed our crop plans for this year, got a few seed orders in, and Nacho is already germinating chile seeds in the greenhouse.

We’re making plans for what else we want this year for both the farm and for ourselves, including balance! We have plans for a few new chiles (when do we not?!) and might have found some space to grow more beans on. Additionally, we’re making investments in infrastructure to make things a bit easier for us. In farming, you never really know what the year ahead holds, but I’m excited about what we grew in 2022 and excited to spend the year enjoying it with you all.

A New Batch of Whole Dried Chiles

Our web store is currently stocked with the 2022 harvest of our whole dried chiles including Ancho, Mulato, Guajillo, Espelette, Red Serrano, and Yahualica Chile de Arbol. We grew more Ancho and Mulato chiles for you and should have them around for much longer than we did last year. Also, this year’s crop of Guajillo chiles are really good.

Check out this recipe for a dried chile romesco sauce. It’s delicious and you can use whatever mix of chiles you want depending on what heat level you are looking for! The recipe card will be popped into each order of whole dried chiles. And if you need more recipe ideas, check out this link for a list of recipes that use whole chiles that I started putting together last year. Have a recipe you want me to add to the list? Email me at hello@boonvillebarn.com!

Need a Valentine's Day Dinner Idea?

How about chicken mole! We received very positive feedback from people like you about Arcelia’s Mole Kit and we still have more available! Each kit includes the recipe for Chicken Mole, 4 bags of whole dried chiles, Mexican Chocolate from Taza Chocolate, and spices from Oaktown Spice shop (Allspice, Bay leaves, Cloves, Cinnamon Sticks, White Sesame Seeds, and Black Peppercorns).

Or Something a Bit Sweeter?

kokak chocolate

Proudly queer and Filipina-owned, Kokak Chocolates specializes in small-batch single origin heirloom chocolates in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco.

Carol has created 3 different chocolates (2 bars and a truffle collection!) featuring our Red Serrano, Calabrian, and Comapeño chiles. While we don’t have these products available for purchase, you can buy them directly from Kokak and they will ship in 1-2 business days!

"Kokak," meaning ribbit in the Filipino language, stems from Founder and Head Chocolatier Carol Gancia’s deep Asian roots and passion for making adventurous flavors with the rare cacao variety, “Naciónal.”

A Feature in Civil Eats!

newsclip from civil eats

A big shoutout to writer Bridget Shirvell from Civil Eats for covering the growing production of domestic spices that include our chiles! This is a great introduction to learn what other spice farmers are doing across the country. The article was also picked up by Eater and featured there as well!

Bridget writes that “Spices have long been in an overlooked corner of the local food movement. In some cases, that’s because customers don’t know to look for local spices. In others, it’s because many spices thrive in more tropical, subtropical, or generally more specific ecosystems, which are uncommon in most of the United States.”

We’re so glad YOU know where to look to find spices grown here in the U.S.!

What We're Cooking

Honestly, what have we been cooking? I feel like we hit a point of exhaustion at the end of the year which was really a sense of eat whatever we can that is easy and doesn't take too long. Instead here's a list of things I hope to eat in the next month.

  • It's finally Dungeness Crab season here in CA! I'm looking forward to a buttery and garlicky crab pasta topped with Calabrian chile flakes
  • Our freezer is stocked with pork chops which calls for pork chops with perfect mashed potatoes both covered in Piment d'Ville Chile Cream
  • With the rain gone, now our nights are chilly which is perfect for a big pot of Boonville White Bean Chili.
  • While it continues to get dark early, pop on a movie and make a batch of Maple Peanut Piment d'Ville Popcorn. Pro tip: eat it with a spoon to keep your fingers clean.