I feel like I blinked and all of a sudden it's the middle of June. Time on the farm moves fast when we're incredibly busy and have little down time. From getting our chiles and beans in the ground, to making a new jam, to enjoying late season rain but not all the weed whacking or intense allergies that come with it, I'm already feeling tired!
We're gearing up for a big season of growing 12 different kinds of chiles (and somehow 9 different kinds of beans?) and are stuffing our faces with as many perfectly ripe strawberries from our field as we can. As our chile plants stretch their roots deep into the soil over the next few months, we hope you spend your summer cooking with our chile powders and finding new flavors you love.
Don't forget to share what you cook with us! We love hearing how you use our chiles. Read on to learn more about what we've been up to and what's new in our store!
It's Strawberry Jam Time!
Making preserves is a perfect way to showcase the versatility of the chiles we grow here in Boonville. Our next addition to the Boonville Barn lineup is a Strawberry & Chile Jam. This jam is packed with organic California strawberries and our Piment d’Ville.
It is bursting with ripe strawberry sweetness followed by a lingering heat from the Piment d’Ville. Slather it on a piece of buttered toast or add a spoonful to a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You won’t be disappointed. This jam is only available in 10 oz jars.
Perfect Flavors for the Summer
As pants become shorts and gardens begin to explode with the bounty of summer, it’s time to make sure you have the perfect chile powders to pair with every meal! Here’s some of our favorite summer meal options when it's too hot to turn on your stove:
- Fruit Salad & Piment d’Ville
- Avocado Toast & Smoky Piment d’Ville
- Apricots with Chevre & Habanero Chile Powder
- Grilled Corn & Spicy Piment d’Ville
- Fried Eggs & Poblano Chile Powder
- Pizza Take Out & Calabrian Chile Flakes
- Tuna Salad & Comapeño Chile Powder
- Tomatoes and Cucumbers & Golden State Seasoning
- Ceviche & Aji Limon Chile Powder
- Mango Popsicles & Guajillo Chile Powder
Planting season has come and gone
Our team spent last week planting all 70,000 of our chiles. Yes, 70k chile plants plus all our beans. It’s … quite a lot of work! I even convinced my dad to help us plant which is a feat in itself! And yes it might look extreme to be wearing a down jacket and hat while planting chiles in June but it was about 45 degrees that morning!
Here I am dropping chile plants down this planting tool (it’s normally used for bulbs). It’s got a point end that you jab into the ground and release the handle to make a hole and allow for the chile plant to drop into the soil.
We then follow with shovels to top each hole with a bit of soil. Repeat till all the plants are in the ground.
While we get our plants in the ground a bit later than other farms around, its important to remember that we’re not rushing to bring the first chile to market during the summer. Instead, we give the chiles time to fully ripen on the plants in the field before harvesting them to dry. Our temps here stay pretty cold in late May overnight (some vineyards were running their frost fans at the end of the month!) so we try and give the soil as much time to warm up before we plant our crop.
A Handful of Espelette Ristras
Every fall during the chile harvest, we string up some Espelette chiles for ourselves and for friends as a special token of the fall’s bounty. The 2021 harvest season was a bit hectic for me and Gideon and even though Nacho kept reminding me that he had made a bunch of Espelette ristras, I kept filing it away in the back of my head for later.
While taking inventory last week, I came across the 25 perfect ristras of Espelette chiles that Nacho made in November. These strings of chiles are perfect for hanging in your pantry so they are accessible when you need dried chiles to cook with.
They are also a great way to adorn your kitchen and other parts of your home. In the Basque region, the sides of buildings are covered in strings of dried chiles. It’s a really beautiful sight. Use these ristras within 2 years for cooking or as a decoration for 10 years.