I asked Gideon if he had anything that stuck out as an accomplishment from 2023 and he said, “We made it.” And man, I feel that. Last year was a giant reminder that farming, and the stress that farmers live with, is not for the faint of heart. It was a really hard year! But it also had a lot of big wins. As someone who tends to dwell on what we can fix instead of celebrating what we have accomplished, I’m challenging myself to share with you what the 2023 year was like for us (with the good and the bad to, you know, show the realities of farming). Keep scrolling to read our 2023 in review!
Here in the office, we've restocked our new favorite Mexican cookbook and have all varieties of our Whole Dried Chiles from the 2023 harvest ready to go! And if you've had your eye on our dry beans, we only have 2 kinds left
Whether you are in a snowstorm, rainstorm, or are lucky enough to catch some sun, thanks for being part of our chile community.


Highlights and Lowlights of 2023


tractor making farming beds
  • What we grew: 9 kinds of beans and 11 types of chiles. There's also 20 different olive varieties in our grove and one type of strawberries behind the barn. 

    What we harvested: ¾ of a ton of dry beans, over 36 tons of fresh chiles, 3 tons of olives, and 1.5 tons of fresh strawberries. These are pretty significant numbers for a farm (and crew!) of our size. The biggest highlight of this? We changed up part of our harvest schedule and invested in equipment to make harvesting our crops easier and less exhausting.

  • We started the year with a press hit in Eater about the burgeoning US market of spice suppliers, a short live segment on BBC Radio about home cooks using interesting spices at home, a hit in Forbes about what makes our farm special, a huge article package in the San Francisco Chronicle all about Anderson Valley which included a feature on our farm, our TV debut (!!!) on the PBS show America’s Heartland, 2 podcast spots with the Ingredient Insiders team, and a feature in the Korean publication Magazine F’s issue all about spice. [Check out more of our press features here] It felt really great to be able to share more about our farm and remind ourselves that what we are doing is pretty damn cool.

  • We had the wettest winter we’ve experienced punctuated with snow on the valley floor, which filled our irrigation pond to the brim only to have a catastrophic recirculation pump failure in the summer where we lost 80% of our irrigation water. We bought a pond liner and had everyone lined up to get the pond lined only to end up with the base of the pond being too wet from early fall rains to get the job done. Here’s to hoping that emptying our irrigation pond (leaving the farm without water) in mid-August this year will be the solution to getting the pond lined!

7 people standing in chile pepper field at dusk
  • You bought all the olive oil we produced in 2022 in about 3 hours. Granted, we only had 28 gallons. But don’t worry - we’ve got PLENTY more that will be available next month!

  • We had an invasion of dust mites that took out our strawberry plants, decimating their production for over a month, which also made their way to some of our beans. We learned a better way to manage the mites and hope they won’t be so bad this year. We worked with the Philo Apple Farm to make a 3rd version of our Strawberry & Chile Preserve that used strawberries grown on our farm and our Piment d’Ville. It’s so good. 

  • We imported a bean thresher from Turkey to greatly increase our bean capacity and employed the help of a local wheat processor to help us sort our bean harvest. 

16 people around bins of fresh chiles next to tractor in chile field
  • Our chiles, beans and strawberries took home 11 ribbons from the Mendocino County Fair.

  • Our fave pizza maker, Leah Scurto, ran special pizzas at PizzaLeah with our chiles that I’m still dreaming of (sungold + smoky Piment d’Ville + Yahualica flakes + burrata + basil - maybe the best pizza we’ve ever had?). The Boonville Hotel hosted a dinner celebrating our harvest with each dish featuring something we grew. And we invited all the dinner guests to the farm for a tour. 

  • I took a 10 week farm business class that left me feeling better equipped to make the right decisions for our farm and better able to understand our finances. 

  • Nacho designed a tractor implement to help pull up our plastic mulch, making the end of season field clean up process much easier.

  • We got our cover crop planted on time and it is currently thriving

Pantry Favorites for Winter Weather

We're bracing for 2.5 inches of rain this weekend and I'm planning on spending it cooking from the Familia cookbook and using these different chiles and beans!
I've loved every recipe from Familia by Marcela Valladolid. If you've been curious about cooking with whole dried chiles, but don't know where to start, let this book be your guide! Along with Tacos al Pastor, we've made Sopes con Frijoles with her Boiled Chile de Árbol salsa and frijoles machacados (would be great with either the SW Gold or Peruano beans!), Tacos Gobernador, Poblano and Calabacita soup, and her Cajeta Brownies. I'd recommend purchasing a bag of each of our whole chiles if you want to start with a well stocked pantry!
As a heads up, the price of our whole dried chiles is increasing from $8.99 to $9.49 per bag in February. Stock up now if you want to take advantage of their current price!
With only 23 pounds of Peruano and 71 pounds of Southwest Gold beans left, I'd recommend buying your beans soon! A big thanks to everyone who purchased beans at the end of the year. It's such a win to sell through a crop right after we've put it on sale. It makes me feel like we're doing something right. And we're working on expanded bean acreage for this year so stay tuned.
If you're looking for recipe inspiration for your beans, try these Comapeño Butter Spiked Beans, our White Bean Chili, or Minestrone Soup!

What We're Cooking

  • We're prepping to make Tacos al Pastor tomorrow from Marcela Valladolid's cookbook. The adobo paste uses dried guajillo and ancho chiles and we're pairing it with her Boiled Chile de Árbol salsa (with our Yahualica chiles!). We made it one other time and it was sooooo delicious.

  • Looking for some bean inspiration? Smitten Kitchen has you covered. I made her Sweet Potato Salad with Pepita Dressing last week and used our Tolosa beans. 

  • Tonight is an easy dinner of grilled cheese, salad, and whatever vegetables we have on hand soup. It's looking like it will be carrot, winter squash and sweet potato. I'm going to add a few whole espelette chiles to it too!